Ex-deputy coroner for Schuylkill and Carbon sentenced on child sex counts

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — A former deputy coroner for Carbon and Schuylkill counties will spend up to two decades in prison after contacting an officer he thought was a young boy for sex.

Meanwhile, he’s still facing similar charges in another county.

Edward C. Smith, 60, was sentenced by Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas on Tuesday to a maximum of 20 years in state prison as a result of a guilty plea to felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility.

Smith, who lives in Tamaqua, entered a guilty plea on the charges in January, court records show, in exchange for prosecutors withdrawing charges of criminal attempt of involuntary indecent sexual intercourse with a person less than 16, criminal attempt of indecent assault of a person less than 16 and another count of unlawful contact with a minor.

According to the initial criminal complaint:

Smith was arrested last September after police say he contacted an agent with the Bureau of Special Investigations of the state Office of Attorney General.

The agent, Daniel Block, posed online as a 14-year-old boy. Block said a user on a “popular social networking application” sent the supposed child a private message. Over the course of the conversation, the user told the “boy” that he was looking for “kissing, cuddling and oral sex” from him.

The user asked Block if they could meet up, and Block gave him an address. Smith came to the prearranged location and was identified as the user in question and was taken into custody.

During questioning, Smith admitted to police he was using social media to contact Block’s child character, to see if he and the boy “clicked.” If they did, he would pursue with having sexual contact with the boy, he said.

Lupas sentenced Smith to between five-and-a-half and 15 years in prison for the count of unlawful contact with a minor and between six months and five years for the count of criminal use of a communication facility. The two sentences will be served consecutively.

He was given 231 days credit for time served since his arrest.

Smith was ordered to register as a sexually violent predator and may not have any contact with a person under 18 without consent from the court.

Smith is also facing charges in Schuylkill County, where prosecutors allege he molested a child under 16.

He’s facing numerous felonies in that case.

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By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan