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Ex-Jaguars LB Telvin Smith charged with sexual activity with minor
6:47 PM ET
  • Michael DiRoccoESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered University of Florida for 13 seasons for ESPN.com and Florida Times-Union
    • Graduate of Jacksonville University
    • Multiple APSE award winner

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, per the Duval County Jail’s website.

Smith, 29, was booked into the jail at 5:20 p.m. ET. He was later released on a $50,003 bond.

There is no court date listed. Smith was arrested by officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at his home in a gated community.

A law enforcement source told ESPN that Smith is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl multiple times, both at his home and in his vehicle, in August and September. The source said the girl told a friend and a family member what happened after the first encounter with Smith.

The source also said investigators found evidence in Smith’s car that linked him to the girl.

Per Florida Statute 794.05, the charge of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is a second-degree felony and applies to any person age 24 or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years old.

“The Jaguars are aware of the report involving former linebacker Telvin Smith,” the team said in a statement. “The club is unable to comment further on this ongoing investigation.”

This incident marked the second time in five months that there was a police presence at Smith’s home. A crime scene van spent several hours there on Nov. 28 and towed a black Cadillac Escalade registered to Smith away from the home. A source told ESPN that the police presence then was tied to the alleged incidents with the teen.

Smith was not arrested at that time.

Smith hasn’t played for the Jaguars since the 2018 season finale. He announced on social media in May 2019 that he would not play football that season, saying he needed to take time off for his family and his health. He did not attend the Jaguars’ voluntary offseason conditioning program or organized team activities and missed the mandatory three-day minicamp in June. The team put Smith on the reserve/retired list before training camp began in July.

Smith was due to make $9.75 million this past season, and his contract has tolled, which means the remaining three years on the deal (he was scheduled to make $10 million in 2020 and $10.25 million in 2021) are paused but would pick up again if he were to return to the Jaguars at some point.

The Jaguars selected Smith in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. A positive marijuana test at the NFL combine contributed to his dropping and, per league rules, placed him in the NFL’s substance abuse program.

Smith missed four games — all because of injuries — in his five seasons.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Smith has more solo tackles (441) than any other player since he entered the NFL, and his 581 total tackles ranks fourth in that span. Smith has nine interceptions (three of which he returned for touchdowns) in his career.

Smith, who had a career-high 134 tackles in 2018, was a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2017 as part of a Jaguars defense that finished second in the NFL in sacks and turnovers forced and led the league in pass defense. The Jaguars scored seven defensive touchdowns that season, and Smith had two, as well as another in the postseason.

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