UPDATE: Hamlet Smith pleads not guilty to first-degree sexual abuse

UPDATE: (February 5, 2020, at 9:45 am) BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Hamlet Smith pleads not guilty to first-degree sexual abuse.

Hamlet Smith, the owner of a local counseling cetners Life Strategies, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree sexual abuse.  Smith appeared before Judge Poling for an arraignment, after a grand jury indicted him in January.

Smith’s next scheduled day in court will be February 19, 2020, at 9 am for a status hearing.

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UPDATE: (January 23, 2020, at 3:30 pm) BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Hamlet Smith, the owner of a local counseling centers Life Strategies, has been indicted by a grand jury in Raleigh County.

Smith was indicted for first- degree sexual abuse. Smith is scheduled to appear before Judge Poling on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020, at 9 am.

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BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – UPDATE: Hamlet Smith, the owner of the local counseling centers Life Strategies, did not go through a preliminary hearing for his charge of sexual abuse. Smith is being represented by Gerald Hayden. Hayden filed paperwork this week to have the hearing waived, a right of the defendant.

Hayden did not say why they decided to waive it, but he did say that now, the case will be assigned to a circuit court judge who will get a scheduling order together for trial.

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BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Hamlet Smith, the owner of the local counseling centers Life Strategies, was arrested earlier this week on charges of sexual abuse.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged incident happened at the Beckley office on October 22nd.

Smith had a scheduled meeting at his practice in Beckley with an adult female who was not an employee or a patient. The female alleges that Smith asked for a hug as she was leaving and that’s when she said Smith allegedly forced his hand down the front of her shirt in an apparent move to touch her breast.

The accuser proceeded to tell Smith that: “This is not going to happen.” When Smith reportedly asked why, she responded that she had a boyfriend. According to the complaint, Smith responded that he did not have to know. The accuser noticed a gun on Smith’s ankle when she got up and felt as though she was in danger.

Smith reportedly opened the door for her and kissed her on the forehead as she left. Smith’s attorney, Gerald Hayden, says Smith has a different account of the events that took place.

“He can confirm there was a meeting between Hamlet Smith and a female adult that was within his office,” Hayden said. “They each have different versions of how that meeting had gone. We’ve seen what the complaint states and we just believe it happened differently than what is being stated by this person making the allegations.”

There are rumors swirling about a recorded phone call that was the factor that resulted in police making the arrest, but Hayden says he has not heard the recording at this point.

“A potential recording that allegedly verifies what occurred in the meeting,” he said. “I have not heard that recording. We haven’t received any kind of discovery at this stage, so I’m not in a position to speculate as to what’s going to be on a recording in the future.”

At this time, a date for a preliminary hearing has not been set.

 

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com