Ex-Jaguars LB Telvin Smith pleads no contest to child abuse, gets 3 years' probation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, who was arrested in April 2020 and charged with unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, has pleaded no contest to child abuse and has been given three years' probation, his attorney said.

As part of the plea agreement, the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County also withheld adjudication of guilt. According to Smith's attorney, Hank Coxe, the agreement was allowed under a rule that determines the plea to be in Smith's best interest while maintaining his innocence.

"Great player. Great person. Great father," Coxe said in a statement. "Huge fan of this town. He will move on and do fine."

As part of his probation, Smith must undergo psychosexual counseling and have no contact with the 17-year-old girl whom he was accused of sexually abusing. He also is not allowed contact with any girls under 18 who aren't family members until the evaluators or counselors approve.

Smith was arrested on April 29, 2020, by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at his Jacksonville home after a six-month investigation. According to Florida Statute 794.05, the charge of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is a second-degree felony and applies to any person age 24 or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years old. Had Smith been convicted of that charge, he would have faced up to 15 years in prison.

ESPN obtained a copy of the arrest warrant, and in it Smith is accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl multiple times, both at his home and in his vehicle. The victim told Smith the day they first met she had recently turned 17, and a witness corroborated that, according to the warrant.

Smith, a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2017, hasn't played for the Jaguars since the 2018 season finale. He announced on social media in May 2019 that he would not play football in 2019, saying that he needed to take time off for his family and his health.