Man sentenced for molesting teen, recording guests showering at Cherokee home

Collin Anthony Smerk was sentenced to 70 years, with the first 50 in prison and the remainder on probation.

Credit: TNS

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Collin Anthony Smerk was sentenced to 70 years, with the first 50 in prison and the remainder on probation.

Credit: TNS

A Woodstock man was sentenced to 70 years for molesting a 15-year-old girl and recording his visitors as they used the bathroom in his home, officials announced Wednesday.

Collin Anthony Smerk, 52, was found guilty in late March of child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, sexual exploitation of children and invasion of privacy. He was sentenced May 2 to 70 years, with the first 50 in prison and the remainder on probation.

“As we prosecuted this case, it became more and more apparent that Collin Smerk’s sexual deviance manifested itself in many ways and escalated over time,” said Cherokee County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Katie Gropper, who prosecuted the case.

An investigation into Smerk began after the victim disclosed the abuse in February 2020, about three years after it occurred, and expressed concern that the man had also secretly videotaped her, the Cherokee DA’s Office said.

It was while the girl was visiting a Cherokee home in 2017 that Smerk molested her, the DA said. She was 15 at the time of the abuse.

A search warrant of the home was executed by the Cherokee sheriff’s office in February 2020, during which computers, electronics and digital storage devices were collected. The DA said deputies also found adult toys that matched items the teenage victim had described to law enforcement.

During the investigation, detectives found child pornography on Smerk’s electronics, as well as videos of young children being sexually assaulted and of adults taking showers and using a bathroom in his home, according to the DA. The individuals in the videos appeared unaware that a camera was in the bathroom.

Photos taken during the search warrant showed a hidden camera in the basement bathroom, officials said. The camera was later found in Smerk’s car with the memory card removed.

“His pornography consumption had themes of child sexual abuse and voyeurism that eventually became his playbook. With little regard for who he hurt, Mr. Smerk violated the privacy of visitors in his home and he manipulated and sexually violated a vulnerable child in order to satisfy his own selfish desires,” Gropper said.

After the jury returned the guilty verdict, the victim took the stand to provide a statement about the impact Smerk’s actions have had on her life and her hope that she will no longer live in fear of him.

After Smerk is released from prison, he is prohibited from having any contact with the victim, banned from Cherokee County and must adhere to sex offender special conditions.

“This defendant betrayed and used a child for his own sick pleasure,” DA Shannon Wallace said. “This sentence protects other innocent children (and) punishes this defendant for his actions.”