A former Hamburg School District teacher has been charged for maintaining a relationship with a 17-year-old student, according to the Berks County District Attorney's Office.
On Oct. 1, 2018, Berks County Detectives filed criminal charges against Holly Smith, 48, for Institutional Sexual Assault, Corruption of Minors, Unlawful Contact with Minor, and Endangering Welfare of Children.
Smith, who currently resides in Shenandoah, was arraigned and released Oct. 9, 2018, on $25,000 unsecured bail on the condition that she have no contact with the victim.
On March 28, Smith entered a guilty plea before a Berks County Common Pleas Judge to the charge of Institutional Sexual Assault relative to an ongoing intimate sexual relationship she was having with one of her 16-year-old male students while she was employed as a Hamburg School District teacher. Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8.
On May 15, the Berks County Detective’s Office received additional information that Smith continued to secretly communicate with the victim via text messaging. The Berks County Detective’s Office recovered copies of the text message exchanges between Smith and the victim from Jan. 2, 2019 until May 17, 2019.
On May 23, the Berks County Detective’s Office, assisted by Police Chief Livergood, West Mahanoy Township Police Department, obtained a search warrant to seize Smith’s cell phone, which was served May 24 at her Shenandoah residence. Smith surrendered a cell phone to police but it was later determined that Smith intentionally provided the wrong phone to law enforcement.
On May 30, the Berks County Detective’s Office filed criminal charges against Smith, at Magisterial District Judge Kim L. Bagenstose’s Office in Hamburg. Judge Bagenstose issued an arrest warrant for Smith. Charges include Unlawful Contact with Minor, Corruption of Minors, Criminal Use of Communication Facility, Obstructing Administration of Law or other Governmental Function, Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, and Intimidation, Retaliation or Obstruction in Child Abuse cases.
On May 24, Berks Detectives took Smith into custody at her home. She was returned to Berks County and transported directly to the Berks County Sheriff’s Central Processing Center.
Smith was arraigned via video by Senior Magisterial District Judge Thomas Xavios. He set bail at $50,000 Secured. Smith posted bail and was released shortly afterwards.