Niles man gets probation for sending explicit photo to minor

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, May 1, 2024

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NILES — A Niles man who sent an explicit photo to a minor was sentenced to probation Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.

Karl George Smith II, 25, of Niles, pleaded guilty to distribution of sexually explicit materials to children and was sentenced to five years probation, registering as a sex offender for 15 years, 90 days on tether and $658 in fines and costs. He cannot reside within a school safety zone or near a park.

The incident occurred Aug. 3, 2023 in Niles Township when he sent an explicit photo to a minor.

“He has been extremely remorseful,” defense attorney Ross Holec said. “This was an extremely poor lapse in judgment. There’s nothing the court can do to terrify him more than what’s already been done. He has learned his lesson.”

“Imagine a stranger sending a picture like this to one of your siblings,” said Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith. “This was just one incident but there’s a reason why the law exists. There are predators out there and this could be considered grooming behavior. Here, it appears to me that it was a really stupid immature decision for you to do this.”