LOGAN — A 36-year-old Nibley man is finally beginning to serve time behind bars for sexting with a teenage girl and posting pornographic photos of people to the internet without their consent. However, exactly how long Nicholas L. Smith will be incarcerated is still unknown after his attorney asked to postpone his client’s sentencing hearing.
Smith was supposed to be sentenced in 1st District Court Wednesday afternoon. He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of enticing a minor over the internet and four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, all second-degree felonies; also three counts of distribution of pornography by an adult, a class A misdemeanor.
The case against Smith has dragged on for years after he was originally arrested in December 2017.
On Wednesday, defense attorney Ray Malouf asked the court to continue sentencing, claiming he hadn’t had time to review a presentence report with Smith from probation agents. The report, delivered to him on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. was several hours short of the three full working days, guaranteed under Utah Law.
After Judge Brian Cannell denied the motion, saying that he didn’t see how two hours would make a difference, Malouf again asked for the sentencing to be postponed, claiming he was sick. He explained that he hadn’t been feeling well and able to meet with Smith to discuss the presentence report, which was recommending his client be sent to prison.
Following a brief meeting with attorneys in chambers, Judge Cannell said he would agree to delay sentencing but ordered Smith be taken into custody immediately. He said it appeared Malouf was not feeling well but he would not allow the defendant to be free among the public anymore, pending the possible prison sentence.
The case against Smith reportedly started in January 2012 when Smith began sexting with an underage girl, who lives in England. They had an online relationship for more than five years that started when the girl was 12-years-old. During that time, the victim sent the defendant numerous pornographic videos and photos of herself.
Smith also recorded himself having sex with people multiple times in Nibley and Logan Canyon. Some of the photos or videos were uploaded to the internet. The victims claimed they did not know they were being filmed and hadn’t given Smith permission to post the material online.
The crimes occurred between 2012 and 2017. Smith was arrested in 2018, when family members found “disturbing” text messages on his phone.
Previously, Malouf had claimed that Smith suffers from a health condition that may have impacted his impulse control. He had also undergone testing and treatment.
Smith didn’t speak during Wednesday’s hearing. He was ordered to appear again for sentencing Nov. 4, where he could face up to 15 years in prison. Deputies then escorted him out of the courtroom and took him into custody.