Friday, October 17, 2003

Principal denies he assaulted his son

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - The principal of Powell County High School has been put on administrative leave after he was charged with assault involving his son.

Lance O. Smith, 30, of Lexington, was arrested Monday and charged with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

Smith pleaded innocent in Fayette District Court on Wednesday.

According to court documents, the victim's mother called Lexington police Oct. 3 after the boy returned home with multiple bruises and marks on his legs and back after a visit with Smith.

Smith told police that the boy was misbehaving and that he spanked him with his hand; when that had no effect, he used a belt five or six times.

Smith was married to Mary Ellen Hutchinson for about three years. They divorced in 2001.

Smith has been principal at Powell since July 1. Before that, he was an assistant principal at Franklin County High School.

Superintendent Lonnie Morris said Smith has been placed on administrative leave while he investigates the allegations.

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30.

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