Director of Tennessee softball program charged with statutory rape

Photo: Hendersonville Police Department via the Tennessean

A Maryville man who is the director of a traveling high school softball program and used to work for Knox County Schools has been arrested and charged with two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and two counts of solicitation of a minor after an underage female reported he sexually assaulted her.

Police say they believe there may be more victims and are asking the public to let them know about any other possible incidents.

Kenneth “Kenny” Smith, 45, is being held in the Sumner County jail after being arrested Thursday at his residence in Maryville.

Smith is the director of KC Freedom Fastpitch U16 and U18 teams in Rogersville, Tennessee.

Smith is not an employee of Maryville City Schools, nor has he ever been, according to Sharon Anglin, the director of communications for Maryville City Schools.

According to his since-deleted profile — accessed by an internet archive — Smith is also an “Advocate” for Collegiate Sports Advocate, a travel program offering advocacy in recruiting for softball, baseball, volleyball and soccer.

“I am an advocate for the player, parents and coaches trying to find the right college for a prospect to play,” his profile says.

Smith worked for Knox County Schools until 2015

Smith worked for Knox County Schools as a security guard beginning in January 2008, according to district spokeswoman Carly Harrington.

She was uncertain what school he worked at and noted that the district typically does not disclose that information for security personnel.

Smith served as a security guard until October 2011 and then transitioned into the role of an educational assistant at New Hopewell Elementary School, Harrington said.

He went on medical leave from November 2010-January 2011, according to Harrington.

Smith resigned in August 2015, she said, though she was not sure the reason for his departure.

His Facebook page states that he is currently employed with Knox County Schools and indicates that he works with students “in the lower 20 percent as well as tallented (sic) and gifted students in K-5.”

The page shows that he has been employed with the district since 2011.

The News Sentinel put in a records request for Smith’s personnel file, but Harrington would not provide access to that file on Friday.

Evidence of multiple incidents

According to a news release from the Hendersonville Police Department, on Dec. 11, authorities received a report an underage female was sexually assaulted by Smith while in Hendersonville.

Their investigation found evidence of multiple incidents of sexual advances and contact by Smith with the victim when she was under the age of 18 in Hendersonville and other jurisdictions, according to the release.

Smith was arrested Dec. 13 and is scheduled to appear in Sumner County General Sessions Court on Jan. 9.

Smith has two daughters, a high school sophomore and senior, according to his since-deleted Collegiate Sports Advocate profile.

His Facebook page also lists that he studied business studies and psychology at Pellissippi State Community College.

Anyone with information on Smith, this case, or any other possible victims should call and report that information to Hendersonville Police at 615-264-5303 or the Crime Stoppers at 615-573-5400.

Tips may also be submitted anonymously by text to the number 274637 (crimes) using keyword TIPHPD.

Read more at the Tennessean.

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