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Jailed Holland Man Gets Public Defender in Kansas Teen Sex Case

Richard Jessie Smith (photo courtesy Johnson County Kansas Sheriff's Dept.)
Richard Jessie Smith (photo courtesy Johnson County Kansas Sheriff's Dept.)

OLATHE, KS (WHTC) - A 46-year-old Holland man was back in a suburban Kansas City courtroom yesterday. Richard Jessie Smith has been held in the Johnson County, Kansas Jail on 25 thousand dollars bond since his arrest at a motel southwest of KC on June 9th. He’s charged with sexual exploitation of a child and contributing to a child’s misconduct, as prosecutors claim that Smith developed an online relationship with an unnamed 16-year-old local girl, and then drove to the area to consummate the relationship at a motel. The two were apprehended without incident after the teen’s parents reported her as a runway the day before. Smith had a public defender assigned to him yesterday, and will return to District Court in Olathe, Kansas on August 1st for a preliminary hearing. If convicted, Smith could get nearly three years in prison and up to a 300 thousand-dollar fine.