September 18, 2023

Frederick, MD – Last night in Frederick County Circuit Court, Jesse Cook, age 45, of Frederick was convicted by a jury of one count of first-degree child abuse resulting in the death of a child under 13 years old and two counts of second-degree child abuse.

On June 17, 2020, deputies with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office responded to an infant in cardiac arrest at 5305 Kingsbrook Drive in Frederick, MD.   The infant was transported to Frederick Health Hospital where the infant was pronounced deceased by medical staff approximately one hour later.  Child Protective Services was immediately notified.  An autopsy revealed multiple injuries on the infant’s body consistent with non-accidental trauma, including approximately 20 healing broken ribs, a prior abdominal injury, and a new abdominal injury that ultimately led to the infant’s death at just one month and twenty-six days old.  The Medical Examiner determined that the injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma and ruled the infant’s death a homicide.  Through investigation by detectives with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, it was learned that the child’s father had sent numerous concerning text messages and searched numerous concerning subjects related to the infant child.  Witnesses also reported that the defendant had been “rough” with the child during the child’s short life.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith stated, “These are the cases that keep you up at night realizing what some people are capable of. This poor baby knew nothing but hate and abuse in this world.  Jesse Cook is the reason we have prisons, and we will do everything within our power to make sure he is in one for many, many years.”

The sentencing date is yet to be determined.

The investigation leading to the arrest and conviction of Cook was a collaborative effort led by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and State’s Attorney’s Office.  The State was represented by Chief Prosecutor of the Special Victims’ Unit, Tammy Leache and SVU Prosecutor Lindsey Carpenter.

Press Contact:

Jacqueline Rottmann

Communications Specialist





August 29, 2023

Frederick, Maryland – The National Organization for Victim Assistance has awarded Frederick County State’s Attorney Domestic Violence Unit Chief Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Engler with the 2023 Morton Bard Award.  The award recognizes outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in advancing crime victim’s rights. She was nominated and selected for this distinguished award by her colleagues and peers at NOVA, who collectively recognize the critical impact she makes daily. Her unwavering dedication to assisting and empowering victims and survivors of crime is an inspiration to us all. Most significantly, her extraordinary compassion, leadership and ingenuity in her work has helped countless victims and survivors begin to heal in the aftermath of a crime.

Ms. Engler has been with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office for over ten years primarily focusing on domestic violence cases.  She spearheaded efforts to develop a more specialized unit devoted solely to domestic violence and intimate partner abuse which resulted in the creation of the new Domestic Violence Unit of the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office where she serves as Chief.

“From the day Brett started, she had the passion and grit to stand up for victims of intimate partner violence.  Here we are over a decade later, and she is turning heads nationally.  Frederick is very fortunate to have such a smart and dedicated Chief DV prosecutor,” stated State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.

Ms. Engler works hard each day to protect victims of domestic violence and raise awareness of its dangers. She participates with, and leads, several local committees whose purpose is to provide better services to the victims they encounter. Most recently, her passion for protecting victims and combatting intergenerational cycles of violence led to the formation of the rebooted Frederick County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, on which she serves as Chair. She also Chairs the Frederick County Fatality Review Team and created a Domestic Violence High Risk Team that includes her office, the Office of Parole and Probation and law enforcement.



August 28, 2023

Frederick, Maryland – Joining forces with the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), J. Charles Smith, III, State’s Attorney for Frederick County, MD, proudly announces National Store Walk Month, an innovative initiative taking place in September. This initiative intends to address the urgent issue of retail crime and habitual theft and its rippling effects on our communities, signifying a pioneering step in facilitating crucial dialogue and cooperation between local law enforcement and community retailers.

During September, Smith plans to lead Frederick County’s participation by visiting several retail businesses, demonstrating his Office’s commitment to work hand-in-hand with community retailers, exchanging valuable insights, fostering a mutual understanding, and collaboratively developing retail crime mitigation strategies. This unprecedented partnership is anticipated to provide a robust understanding of the challenges at hand, enabling a unified and potent response.

 “The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting habitual/organized. Retail thefts in an effort to deter this behavior and promote the safety and well-being of both. Employees and customers while they work and shop in Frederick County.” –   J. Charles Smith III

 Smith also expressed his appreciation for the continued assistance of all retail partners in these prosecution efforts.

Retail theft collectively costs communities billions annually, undermining local economies and threatening the viability of storefronts in neighborhoods across the country.  Equally concerning, in recent years organized and habitual theft has become more brazen and violent, raising safety concerns for employees and customers alike—disrupting lives, jeopardizing livelihoods, and undermining the vitality of communities and neighborhood shopping districts. National Store Walk Month aims to address these concerns, promoting safer, prosperous, and more vibrant communities.

National Store Walk Month welcomes all local retailers and prosecutors to participate, encouraging a united front against retail crime, and fostering a safer, more secure future. As part of this initiative, State’s Attorney Smith reaffirms a commitment to protecting the local community, combatting crime, and creating a more prosperous Frederick County.

For more information, please contact:

About the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office:

 The mission of the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office is to promote public safety and foster a sense of security in our community by holding people accountable for violating the law and pursuing justice in a fair, honest, efficient, and ethical manner.

Press Contact:

Joyce King

Chief Counsel




August 16, 2023                                                                                

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         


at (410) 209-4854                                                    


Defendant Broke Into His Neighbor’s Home and Took Sexually Explicit
Photographs of a Child

Baltimore, Maryland – Jose Alexander Diaz-Rodriguez, age 23, of Thurmont, pleaded guilty today sexual exploitation of a child, after he broke into his neighbor’s home and took sexually explicit photographs of a child.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Greg Eyler of the Thurmont Police Department; Chief Jason Landon of the Frederick Police Department; and Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith, III.

According to his guilty plea, on July 26, 2021, Diaz-Rodriguez broke into his neighbor’s home and entered the bedroom where Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 were sleeping.  Diaz-Rodriguez got into bed with Jane Doe 1, who was eight years old, and produced a series of four images intending to create sexually explicit images of Jane Doe 1.  DNA from Diaz-Rodriguez was found on swabs from Jane Doe 1.

Jane Doe 1’s mother heard a noise and went into the room where she found Diaz-Rodriguez on the ground next to the bed.  Diaz-Rodriguez fled and was arrested a short time later at his residence.  A search warrant executed at his residence and his cell phone was seized.  A forensic examination of the phone located over 1,000 files depicting the sexual abuse of children, including the four images of Jane Doe 1, which Diaz-Rodriguez had deleted prior to police arrival.

Diaz-Rodriguez further admitted that he distributed child sex abuse material on his social media account, specifically an image documenting the sexual abuse of a child.

As part of his plea agreement, upon his release from prison, Diaz-Rodriguez will be required to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”).

Diaz-Rodriguez and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement,
Diaz-Rodriguez will be sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for November 20, 2023 at 2:30 p.m.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the Thurmont Police Department, the Frederick Police Department and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce King, who prosecuted the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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August 14, 2023


FREDERICK, MD – On Friday, August 11, 2023, Edwin Richard Hunt, age 43, of Joppa, Maryland was sentenced in Frederick County Circuit Court. The Honorable Judge Martz-Fisher sentenced him to 40 years suspended all but 20 years to serve in the Division of Corrections. Hunt, who entered a guilty plea, was convicted on the following charges: one count of Second-Degree Rape, one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Minor, and one count of Production of Child Pornography.

On January 20, 2023, officers from the Frederick Police Department responded to a report made by a 13-year-old female child, indicating that she had encountered a 40-year-old man online and that he later had sexual intercourse with her.  The defendant, later identified as Hunt, had met the victim three weeks earlier on a social media platform.  The defendant began to engage in sexually charged conversation with the minor victim, while sending explicit images. Digital forensics show the defendant travelled from Joppa, Maryland on two occasions. The first, in an attempt to provide the victim with “pleasure” toys and the second, to sexually assault the victim in her home. The victim disclosed that the defendant wanted the victim to produce a sexually explicit video. On January 18, 2023, the defendant performed vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, and fellatio on the 13-year-old victim.  On January 19, 2023, the defendant reestablished contact with the victim, intending to travel and meet the minor victim again to engage in another sexual act.

“Every child deserves protection from the dangers of sexual exploitation and abuse, be it online, in-person, or through sexually explicit images,” said State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. “We stand by the bravery of victims who come forward, and we’re resolute in our commitment to their safety. We will continue to work in tandem with other agencies to put an end to such reprehensible behavior.”

The investigation and prosecution of the case were led by the Frederick County Cyber Crimes Task Force (FCCCTF).  The FCCCTF was established in May 2019 as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and the Frederick Police Department. Investigators with the Maryland State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) offer State and Federal support.

The mission of the FCCCTF is to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute internet sexual predators who exploit children through the use of the internet and technology, consistent with Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force standards and procedures.

The State was represented by Chief Counsel Joyce King and Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Carpenter.


ARLINGTON, VA – The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) inaugurated a dynamic new leader on Monday, July 10, as they elected J. Charles (Charlie) Smith III, current State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland, as their next president. Smith was sworn in at NDAA’s annual summer summit in Nashville, Tennessee. With a professional legacy marked by an unwavering commitment to justice, community service, and innovation, Smith’s inauguration promises a forward-thinking and inclusive approach to the role.

Smith, widely admired for his nuanced perspective on prosecutorial integrity and commitment to responsive criminal justice, intends to focus his presidency on championing what he likes to call “proactive prosecution”. This means promoting and advancing our nation’s prosecutors as leaders in the courtroom and in the community through strategic collaboration and engagement with justice partners and citizens alike. He feels strongly that a prosecutor’s importance to public trust and criminal justice cannot be understated. Equally important to Smith is continuing NDAA’s focus on advancing policies and trial advocacy programs to assist and support our country’s prosecutors.

Moreover, he is committed to boosting prosecutor recruitment and retention through innovative strategies, aiming to address the challenges currently faced by prosecutor’s offices nationwide.

Outgoing president John F. Flynn praised Smith, saying, “Charlie’s vast experience and his proven commitment to justice make him a standout choice for leading the NDAA. He has been an unwavering advocate for his community, and we are confident that under his leadership, he will continue to elevate the voice of our nation’s prosecutors.”

Hailing from Baltimore City, Maryland, Smith is a distinguished graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He commenced his career in the legal field as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore City, Maryland. After a few years in private practice, Smith resumed his career as a prosecutor in Frederick County, Maryland in 1998 where he went on to serve as Chief of the Child Abuse/Sex Offense Division, Deputy State’s Attorney (First Assistant), and finally as the elected State’s Attorney for Frederick County, a role he has held since January 2007.

Outside his professional commitments, Smith’s deep-rooted connection with his community is apparent in his extensive Board involvement with local organizations, such as the Frederick Rescue Mission Inc., Child Advocacy Center, Frederick Health Hospice and Faith House. Smith shares his life with his wife,

Desiree a retired Special Agent with the FBI, and their four children. His dedication to family and community shines as brightly as his professional achievements, making him an exemplary leader for the NDAA.

In addition to the election of Smith, several other individuals were elected as new or returning members of the NDAA Board of Directors:

  • Ivan Bates, State’s Attorney, Baltimore City, MD
  • Mark Dupree, District Attorney, Wyandotte County, KS
  • Rich Gibson, State’s Attorney, Howard County, MD
  • Spencer Merriweather, District Attorney, Mecklenburg County, NC
  • Michael Ferrarese, District Attorney, Chenango County, NY

About the National District Attorneys Association:

Formed in 1950, NDAA is the oldest and largest national organization representing state and local prosecutors in the country. With more than 5,500 members representing over two-thirds of the state and local prosecutors’ offices, NDAA is recognized as the leading source of national expertise on the prosecution function and is a valuable resource for the media, academia, government, and community leaders. NDAA’s mission is to provide state and local prosecutors with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to ensure that justice is done and that public safety rights are protected.


State’s Attorney Charlie Smith Statement on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

April 26, 2023


Each year during the month of April, we recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Since 1981, it has been a time of reflection to honor survivors and promote victims’ rights and services. The week comes and passes, but the important work remains a constant. The work we do is 24/7, 365 days a year. It doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t care if it is a holiday or a weekend. If there is a new crime victim in our community, we need to do our best to make them feel secure, heard, and supported in what will likely be a long and difficult journey through the legal system. We need to work with our law enforcement partners to identify who committed the crime, make an arrest, and if they are a threat to public safety, keep them behind bars until the case can be resolved.


Lost in the discourse of justice reform are the victims. The victims who need a voice, victims who may never speak again because someone took their life. I think about the victims of domestic violence who are caught in a seemingly endless cycle of abuse, facing a real possibility of a deadly encounter with their abuser. I think about the victims and families who must cope with a life-altering injury caused by someone who was reckless or violent. I reflect on the children who face horrible memories of being abused, perhaps by a relative, and the impact that will have on them for the rest of their lives. The victim that loses their life savings because of a scammer. The list is endless but the meaning is clear: we must lift up victims’ voices and hold the offenders accountable.


Among a number of victim-focused crime bills this legislative session in Annapolis, I strongly supported HB 226/SB 21 which will strengthen the prosecution of child sex abuse by expanding the definition of “Person in Position of Authority” to coaches, counselors, and teachers outside the school system that utilize their position to victimize children. For far too long, adults have used this loophole to groom and abuse kids.

HB 297/SB 292 will ensure that child trafficking victims are not prosecuted for their own victimization and instead refer them to proper services through the Regional Navigator Program. This is common sense legislation that will protect children who are in a situation that is out of their control.


The work of a prosecutor at this time in history is more challenging than ever. Many communities are facing a surge in crime. Trust in law enforcement is declining. Agencies are overloaded, underfunded, and struggling to keep up with the emergence of new technologies.   So it is vital that we recognize that each and every day, good women and men are working hard on behalf of our Frederick community. From the first responders to the social workers, to the victim/advocates and prosecutors, these public servants are there to see that the voice of the victim is still heard.


State’s Attorney Charlie Smith

Winchester, VA Man Sentenced to Life Without Parole For Murder of Ex-wife

For Immediate Release

April 21, 2023



FREDERICK, MD This morning in Frederick County Circuit Court,  Judge Julie Stevenson Solt sentenced Lemuel Lee Roberts, age 35, of Winchester, VA to life without the possibility of parole, which was what the State had sought. Roberts was found guilty of 1st degree murder by a Frederick jury February 16, 2023.


Following the sentencing, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “Today we have justice for Kaitlin, her family, and her many friends and supporters.  Life without Parole was undoubtedly the right sentence for this heinous murderer.  One who showed zero remorse and took substantial steps to cover up his killing.”


Shortly after 2:00 am on January 11, 2020, a 911 caller reported finding a body in the roadway at English Muffin Court and English Muffin Way in Frederick, MD, deceased. The victim was identified as Kaitlin Nichole Roberts of Winchester, VA.


Investigators determined that Lemuel Roberts traveled to Frederick, Maryland with his ex-wife and mother of his children, Kaitlin Roberts, and stabbed her 32 times and ran over her body while driving a Buick Enclave. At trial, prosecutors presented video footage from a nearby business showing the defendant’s car approach the area of English Muffin Way and English Muffin Court around 11:49 pm on January 10, 2020. The victim exited the vehicle and was subsequently run over by the defendant.


Afterwards, Roberts went back to Winchester where he was shown on surveillance camera footage at a Sheetz Gas Station driving the Buick Enclave through a car wash. The defendant proceeded to dispose of evidence including the victim’s work nameplate and purse at a Sunoco gas station dumpster in Winchester. Roberts then returned to his home on Oakmont Circle in Winchester.


Through cellular phone tracking analysis by FBI Special Agent Michael Fowler, investigators determined Roberts then returned to the area of the victim’s body in Frederick around 2:00 am. SA Fowler also presented tracking data through cellular phone records and trackers the defendant had on vehicles that confirmed his movements in the late hours of January 10th into the early morning of January 11, 2020.


The defendant then went back to Winchester where he set the Buick Enclave on fire at Woods Mill Rd. and Red Bud Rd. Former Frederick County, VA Fire Marshall’s office investigator Kenneth Scott testified that it was the result of an intentional “incendiary” fire originating in the front passenger area of the vehicle.


The State was represented by Deputy State’s Attorney Kirsten Brown and Chief Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Clinton.


The State’s Attorney’s Office would like to recognize the hard work of investigators with the Frederick County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, Frederick County, VA Fire Marshall’s Office, Frederick County, MD Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, FBI Baltimore, and the Montgomery County, MD Police Department.










For Immediate Release

March 28, 2023


FREDERICK, MD – Monday afternoon in Frederick County Circuit Court, Edy Daniel Marroquin-Soma, age 23, of Frederick entered a guilty plea to one count of attempted 1st degree murder. The State asked the court for an above the guidelines sentence of life suspend all but at least 40 years in prison. The Defense asked the Court to impose active time of 12 years. The Honorable Theresa M. Adams sentenced the Defendant to life with all but 25 years to serve in the Division of Corrections followed by 5 years of supervised probation upon release, which is a sentence above the guidelines.


On August 26, 2020 at approximately 5:14 AM, officers with the Frederick Police Department were dispatched to the 500 block of Logan Street in Frederick for what was reported to dispatchers as a fight. Responding patrol officers found a 78-year-old male victim in the grass next to the street unconscious. Emergency Medical Services informed police that the victim was suffering from head trauma and he was subsequently transported to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore in critical condition. The victim suffered life-altering injuries as a result of traumatic brain injury and other injuries that he will never be able to fully recover from.


Upon further investigation, detectives learned that the defendant had been sitting in his truck that night drinking alcohol and listening to music. Multiple empty beer bottles were observed on the street and grass near the truck as investigators canvassed the scene. Surveillance camera footage obtained from a nearby home recorded the attack. In the video, the defendant can be seen on top of the victim rapidly punching down and then stomping. Investigators also seized a shirt from the defendant that had blood on it. The defendant had cuts and trauma to the fingers and thumbs, as well as a bandage covering an injury to his right knee. Additionally, the DNA of the victim was found on the defendant.


Following the sentencing, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “This attack on an elderly man out for a walk in his neighborhood is both shocking and disturbing. We have always worked tirelessly to protect those victims who cannot protect themselves. I hope that today’s sentence gives the victim, his family, and the community a sense of comfort in knowing that the Defendant, and others who harm the vulnerable, will be punished harshly.”


Frederick Police Detective Sean McKinney led the investigation. The State was represented by Chief Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Clinton.


Edy Daniel Marroquin-Soma






March 14, 2023



Howard, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties stand together to urge Maryland Legislature to pass Senate Bill 21 and Senate Bill 292


ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, Maryland State’s Attorneys for Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties held a joint press conference today to urge passage of multiple bills currently before the Maryland General Assembly.


Principal speakers at the press conference included Howard County State’s Attorney Richard Gibson Jr. (president of the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association); Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith (president-elect of the National District Attorney’s Association); Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. The State’s Attorneys were also joined by Turn Around Inc. and several advocacy groups and victims of related crimes.


The press conference specifically discussed the following two pieces of legislation:


  1. House Bill 226/Senate Bill 21: Criminal Law – Person in a Position of Authority – Sexual Offenses With a Minor. This bill would strengthen the prosecution of child sex abuse by expanding the definition of “Person in Position of Authority” to coaches, counselors, and teachers outside the school system that utilize their position to victimize children.
  2. House Bill 297/Senate Bill 292: Criminal Law – Victims of Child Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking – Safe Harbor and Service Response. This bill would ensure that child trafficking victims are not prosecuted for their own victimization and instead are referred to proper services through the Regional Navigator Program.


On February 24, 2023, the Safe Harbor bill was voted favorably out of the House of Delegates.  Currently, it remains in Judicial Proceedings on the Senate side where no action has been taken.


The Person in a Position of Authority bill passed out of the House of Delegates on March 9, 2023.  Currently, a hearing has not been scheduled by Judicial Proceedings.

“I think it’s very important to highlight the bills that prosecutors of this state are supporting. There’s been a lot of talk publicly about the legislation we are against and what is often ignored is the legislation we fully endorse,” said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson, Jr. “We stand firmly against any bills that we feel would jeopardize public safety. And likewise, we’re here today talking about bills that would enhance public safety. It is for these reasons that we stand in solidarity; not only for these two specific bills, but for the 50-plus bills put forth on our MSAA support list.”


“Many persons in positions of authority over minors are excluded from the current law. SB21 expands the definition of person in position of authority to include teachers, coaches, counselors, and others who work with children outside of the traditional school setting. Individuals who are in any of the roles included in this bill hold positions of trust, and any person who grooms or manipulates a child for the purposes of sexual exploitation should be held accountable,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.


“The Legislature is being urged to pass Senate Bill 292, the Safe Harbor Bill. This bill is a step in the right direction to enhance protections for child victims of human trafficking and sex trafficking. The passage of this bill will provide immunity from prosecution or juvenile proceedings for child victims who are suspected of being survivors of these heinous crimes.  Under current law, many child victims are charged with crimes or are subject to juvenile proceedings—even when they are suspected to be survivors of human or sex trafficking. The Safe Harbor Bill would provide protection from such charges and proceedings to shield these children from further trauma,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “It is time for us to come together and act on behalf of those who cannot advocate for themselves. Let us make sure that we keep our focus on safety and healing, not punishment and prosecution. Now more than ever we must ensure that our most vulnerable population—children—are protected from traffickers who seek to exploit them for profit.”


Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “It is critical that we do everything in our power to stand as advocates for victims of crime, both on the State and National level. The Safe Harbor Bill would ensure that child victims are protected from prosecution and that traffickers become the sole focus of law enforcement, as they should.” Smith added, “There are far too many that use their trusted relationship with children to groom and abuse. By expanding the definition of those in positions of authority, we will ensure that more offenders are held accountable for victimizing children. I call on the General Assembly to pass these bills that will protect the vulnerable.”