Discovery of pictures leads to arrest of Alto father and son, charged with sexual assault of a child

Crime & Public Safety

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A father and son from Alto were arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child on Oct. 13.

A multi-agency investigation lead to the arrest of Theodore Smith, 86, and James Smith, 62.

“There’s not a better feeling. There’s a special place for these two, there’s a special place for anybody who hurts a child. We won’t tolerate it in this county,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson.

In mid-March of this year, deputies from the Sacramento County California Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from a person who reportedly discovered hundreds on images containing child pornography and children involved in sex acts. The person who called, found the images while renovating a newly purchased home.

Deputies responded to the call, collected the items and notified sheriff’s detectives. At the discovery of the photographs, detectives believed the pictures were taken between 1985 and 1995 and it was believed that they were left behind by previous residents.

After a collaborative effort involving the Sacramento County California District Attorney’s Office, the victims were identified. The Sacramento County California Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security then worked to identify the suspects, build a cade and establish a timeline of when the crimes occurred.

Sacramento County California Sheriff’s Office Detectives assisted by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, served a search warrant at a residence in Cherokee County.

Theodore was found in his residence just north of Alto on Highway 69 and arrested. James, who is also a resident of Alto, was found and arrested on Oct. 13 while on a trip to California.

Multiple arrest warrants were issued for Theodore Smith, 86, and his son James Smith, 62, for sexual assault of a child.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant was issued for Theodore “and any evidence used in numerous sexual assaults of a child spanning over the last 60 years.”

“This case stemmed from evidence these individuals left behind in a California residence when they moved from California to Texas a year ago,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Theodore Smith and James Smith are pending extradition to California and both are being held in law enforcement custody on multiple charges. Detectives are still processing potential evidence seized during the search warrant.

So far, Theodore has been charged with 34 counts of lewd act of a child under 14 with force and two counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14. Theodore’s bond has been set at $7,000,000 and he we will be transferred back to California to await trial.

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