Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Criminal Prosecutions Division trial team secured a guilty plea against a man who committed sexual assault of a child. The defendant, Troy Lee Smith, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison. 

Smith had been a martial arts instructor at Master Smith’s Martial Arts Academy in Woodville, Texas. In 2011, Smith began meeting privately with one of his students, who was then 15 years old. Smith inappropriately touched and then sexually assaulted the student. These assaults went on for several months. 

The student reported the assaults to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office in 2018. The lead investigator on the case, Tyler County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Brian Seales, took statements and conducted a detailed and thorough investigation. The case was brought before a grand jury and Smith was indicted. Investigator Seales later left the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office and is now employed by the Attorney General’s Office as an Investigator in the Criminal Prosecutions Division. 

Assistant Attorney General James Haugh prosecuted the case, and was assisted by Attorney General Investigator Sergeant Brian Seales.