Darcy Smith, an elementary school teacher for the Highline School District who was once named “Teacher of the Year” for the region, pleaded not guilty to third-degree child rape charges after allegations she sexually abused a former student she’d taken into her home.
During Wednesday’s court proceedings, Smith’s supporters held up signs reading “Save Mrs. Smith” and “You Changed Lives Mrs. Smith … Thank You.”
The 41-year-old most recently worked at McMicken Heights Elementary School. She is charged with three counts of child rape for assaults that are alleged to have begun in September 2008 when the victim was 14 years old.
The victim, now 19, told detectives that Smith brought him into her Renton home and started abusing him a year later.
But her present and former students defended her in court.
“All of my family – they just love her,” said one supporter, Lau Lii. “She’s done nothing but change lives and help people out – it’s hard to see her like this.”
Smith’s attorney, Brad Meryhew, earlier said Smith denies the allegations and has maintained her innocence since she was first contacted by investigators.
The veteran defense attorney said detectives didn’t interview Smith’s husband or any others who were in the home “at the time of these false allegations.”
“There is a lot more to this story than is contained in the cursory investigation that was done prior to the filing of these charges,” Meryhew said. “Darcy looks forward to vigorously defending herself and to being exonerated.”
The victim first reported the allegations in May. Smith was released from jail on condition she have no contact with Highline School District property or the victim. She has been on administrative leave from the school district since August.
She will be back in court on March 12.