Wife testifies during hearing for former Germantown soccer coach Justin Smith

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detectives did not have a search warrant when they asked for a cell phone belonging a Germantown soccer coach alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

RELATED: Soccer coach sentenced to 12 years on sex charges

But detectives testified Tuesday during a suppression hearing that they already had probable cause to arrest Justin K. Smith for alleged sex crimes and that they requested and received Smith’s cell phone from his wife.

Smith, 42, already is serving a 12-year sentence for sex crimes against a girl who had been on his youth club soccer team.

He also faces 41 more charges stemming from his disappearance from his December trial and from images found on the cell phone provided by Smith’s wife, Yvonne.

Yvonne Smith testified that Det. Eric Dingee put his foot inside the threshold of her house, that he didn’t identify himself as a police officer and that she felt threatened and scared not to present the phone.

“Did you feel like you had a choice?” defense attorney Adam Arnold asked Smith’s wife. “No,” she answered.

INITIAL REPORT:

A motion to suppress hearing is scheduled today for Justin K. Smith, the fugitive ex-soccer coach convicted on sex offenses against a minor.

Smith, 42, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last month for eight counts related to his sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl on his soccer team.

The 14-year-old’s mother told the court she discovered a text message exchange allegedly between Smith and her daughter, that included the words “I love you” and more explicit messages.

RELATED: Four cases raise electronic monitor concerns before accused sex offender flees trial

“We never thought a wolf in sheep’s clothing would be able to disguise himself as a friend and coach and successfully destroy what my husband and I are most proud of in this world — that being the dynamic that is our family,” the mother said, calling Smith “a monster lying in wait” and that the situation “will harm our daughter for the rest of her life.”

Smith asked Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Erik Blaine for mercy and apologized to the victim and the victim’s parents who walked out of the courtroom during his statement.

He was arraigned on 41 new charges related to his fleeing during his trial and for pornographic material allegedly in his possession, prosecutors said.

RELATED: Former Germantown soccer coach indicted on 41 new counts, including child pornography

The suppression hearing this afternoon is for any evidence gathered from a search of Smith’s cell phone.

Smith, who testified in his own defense Oct. 31, failed to return from a lunch break. Smith cut off his ankle monitor and fled first to Kentucky and was arrested Dec. 14 in Florida after a nationwide search. He was turned in by a woman he met via an online dating app.

We will update this story with any details emerging from today’s hearing. 

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