High school football player facing two rape charges quits team, still in classes
HOQUIAM, Wash. — At 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, Tyler Smith, who wears number 71, was a force to be reckoned with on the football field, but prosecutors allege he used his size to overpower and rape two girls.
According to court documents, Smith was arrested Sept. 26 in the middle of football practice at Hoquiam High School.
Investigators say the latest incident happened back in July when Smith allegedly raped a girl on the tailgate of his pickup.
He allegedly told detectives the girl said no but he didn`t think she meant it.
"He's always a good kid. He always has a smile on his face. He's always willing to help out. If he knows someone needs a few bucks, he would give you a few bucks to help you out, you know? I don't see him doing anything like that. He's a good kid,” friend Kobe Lorton said.
While working the case, detectives learned Smith may have sexually assaulted another girl in December 2012.
From that investigation came a second charge.
"I honestly didn't expect it from him because he was always a nice kid to me and he was just an outgoing person. He was funny. I don't know. It's hard to say. People change,” friend Kylie Vandel said.
Now the big question is: How Smith could still be allowed in school?
Hoquiam Schools Superintendent Mike Parker says while he understands community frustration, the answer is simple.
"What happened is absolutely unacceptable if the allegations are true, but at this point … those are allegations and we have a legal system that says you're innocent until proven guilty and so we're relying on the legal system to help us,” Parker said.