Former math teacher Evan Smith was convicted May 3 of a misdemeanor for “annoying or molesting a child under 18.” Under his sentence, Smith will not be receiving any jail time but will be on formal probation for three years, subject to a period of good behavior under supervision.
Determined by his court appearance on March 28, Smith’s no-contest plea orders him to resign from MVHS and surrender his teaching credentials. Smith must also register as a sex offender for a mandatory minimum of 10 years, after which he may petition to be removed from both public and police registries. In addition, Smith is ordered to “stay away” from Mountain View High School and the victim.
“His grooming process was extremely effective, and it scares me now to think how easily I was manipulated,” said the victim, who has remained unnamed as to protect as her anonymity, in a statement to the Oracle.
Smith was arrested Nov. 7 and was originally charged with a felony count of “sending harmful matter to a minor”. After pleading not guilty in January, Smith changed his plea to no contest in March, and the court reduced his charge to a misdemeanor.
According to the California Public Employees Pension Reform Act of 2013, Smith will most likely still receive his pension from the state because he has been convicted of a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Smith’s interactions with the female victim began over Facebook Messenger last summer. Police reports showed that the texts were of a nonsexual nature at first, but after a lunch outing in October, Smith began to ask the victim detailed questions about her sexual history. He said he was interested in knowing this information because “he had never been a teenage girl.” Smith also continued to brag about his own sexual abilities until the victim told Smith that she was uncomfortable continuing the conversation.
Smith continued to text the victim, however, and on Nov. 5 she notified her school counselor who contacted the Mountain View Police Department. The victim said in the statement that on this day, she was “frightened” to attend school because Smith was still on campus teaching that morning, and she was worried she would run into him.
According to the victim, a close friend encouraged her to report her situation. The victim said she recalled her friend saying, “You need to do the right thing. I can report it anonymously, or you can do it yourself. Once you graduate, this teacher will do it to the next girl.”
After the victim reported her situation, she said she had thought that would be the extent of her involvement in the case. She said she wasn’t prepared for people questioning her actions, and at one point she said she began to question her own judgement.
“I never expected that I would be the one in question,” the victim said in the statement.
In addition, the victim described the “painful” experience of reading comments online from strangers and classmates that judged her choice to report the teacher.
“The hardest part was trying to figure out what had happened to me while simultaneously being in a constant state of defense,” the victim said in the statement.
The victim also said that she had been oblivious to the extent that women are discriminated against, and this event was a realization for her.
“This event has really opened up my eyes,” the victim said in the statement. “It has caused me to be more self conscious about how I am presenting myself to the public. It’s hard to describe, but it doesn’t feel good when someone is only interested in your body.”