Former Church Youth Volunteer Sentenced For Sexual Assault In Benton County

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A former church youth volunteer has been sentenced to probation and jail time for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl who attended church with him.

Derek Smittle

According to the Benton County Circuit Court Office, Derek Smittle, 31, of Centerton pleaded guilty Monday (Dec. 2) to sexual assault.

Smittle was placed on 10 years probation and sentenced to 119 days in the Benton County Jail. He was also ordered to pay $1,670 in court costs and he must register as a sex offender.

Smittle, who volunteered at First Baptist Centerton, was arrested in January and was accused of having a months-long relationship with the girl.

The girl's mother said she found Smittle and her daughter at an Air BNB in Cave Springs in February, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Smittle and the girl said they'd been meeting to have sex since October 2018.

He originally pleaded not guilty in February.

Smittle told police he'd been teaching Sunday school for four years and hosting Bible studies at his home, according to the affidavit.

This is the second arrest involving a sexual relationship between a minor and adult linked to First Baptist Centerton.

In 2016, a former Life Way Christian School teacher was sentenced to 24 years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a student.

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