Sheriff’s Candidate Said He Avoided His Son’s Investigation –

By Dan Spalding
and Liz Berger

WARSAW — Allegations of foul play by the son of a Kosciusko County sheriff candidate were repeatedly raised in letters and on social media this spring ahead of the May 3 primary.

Despite the allegations against Zachary Smith, a son of Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Smith, local media did not report on the matter because no documents substantiating a sign of investigation could be found.

But now – more than a year after the incident – it has emerged that Zachary Smith, 18 at the time, is charged with supplying marijuana to and having consensual sex with a young man. 14 years old.

The online documents first appeared on June 30, indicating that Zachary’s case was due for a plea hearing change to August.

The alleged incident happened on July 4, 2021 at a North Webster storage unit area and involved a group of girls as young as 13 and a group of boys a few years older.

Talking about the affair seemed to fade after Smith beat Dukes with 52.4% of the primary vote. Smith will now face independent candidate James Marshall in the fall election.

On Friday July 8, Jim Smith was questioned about the circumstances. He confirmed that his son had been investigated and faced charges of maintenance of a common nuisance and battery.

In his statement, Smith said he was not involved in the case.

Click here read Full statement from Jim Smith

“I did not participate in the investigation or attempt to influence it in any way, publicly or privately. The special prosecutor alone decided if and when to press charges, making the case public,” he said. Jim Smith said in the statement.

His statement came after a request from InkFreeNews for comment on the circumstances.

InkFreeNews has sought to determine who hid the case from the public eye, but it remains unclear.

The case was investigated by the Indiana State Police. The Kosciusko County District Attorney’s office then assigned a special prosecutor to handle the case and the case was assigned to Whitley County District Attorney DJ Sigler Jr.

InkFreeNews has also contacted but has not heard from Sigler Jr., Kosciusko County District Attorney Dan Hampton, or the Indiana State Police.

Zachary Smith has never been stopped or booked. Instead, he received a summons to appear in court.

According to court records, charges were filed on June 30. The next day, the defense waived the hearing, so there was no arrest.

Zachary, 19, who lives in Pierceton, is charged with maintaining a common nuisance, a felony level 6; and battery, a class B misdemeanor. He now has a plea change hearing Aug. 16 in Kosciusko Second Superior Court.

According to court documents, witnesses said Zachary brought marijuana to the scene and provided it to others, including the child.

During an interview with DCS workers, the child said that much of the contact with Zachary was consensual in nature, including sexual encounters, and that at no time were they forced to do anything against their will.

The two men Zachary was with at the time said Zachary told them directly that he had sex with the girl.

Jim Smith’s statement also addressed his son’s actions.

“My son is now an adult who makes his own choices, for better or for worse. He takes full responsibility for all expenses related to the case, including his legal fees. Needless to say, as a father, I will always love and support my son, but I will not support or condone any action he may take that violates the law or causes harm to others,” the statement read.

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