Courtney Smith Denies Report That She Told Powell Police In 2015 That Ohio State Convinced Her To Drop Charge Against Zach Smith

By Dan Hope on August 29, 2018 at 10:06 pm
Zach Smith

According to a police report obtained by Dean Narciso and Rita Price of The Columbus Dispatch, Courtney Smith told Powell Police in 2015 that Ohio State sent a lawyer to her home in connection with a previous incident and convinced her to drop a charge against former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith “because it would embarrass OSU if she proceeded with the prosecution."

From the Dispatch, who was mailed the police report by an anonymous sender:

When Powell police were called to her home in October 2015, Courtney Smith outlined a history of violent acts — choking, physical abuse and death threats — that she says had long made her fear for her life at the hands of her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Smith told Officer Ben Boruchowitz that she was making the report on Oct. 26, 2015, because Zach Smith, then an Ohio State assistant coach, had come to her Powell condominium the night before and started verbally abusing her, then pushed her into a wall and took their young son with him against her objections.

That account is contained in the narrative of a police incident report mailed to the Dispatch anonymously. Made aware of the mailing and the contents of the report Wednesday, Powell Police Chief Gary Vest did not dispute it.

Boruchowitz wrote that Courtney Smith told him Ohio State sent a lawyer to her Powell home in connection with a previous incident, “convincing her to drop the charge because it would embarrass OSU if she proceeded with the prosecution.”

Chris Davey, OSU spokesman, told The Dispatch on Wednesday night the university was unaware of the allegation and would investigate.

Courtney Smith told Brett McMurphy on Wednesday night, however, that report was not accurate. Instead, she told McMurphy that she told Powell Police that current Ohio State special assistant to the head coach Hiram deFries told her not to press charges after Zach Smith's arrest in 2009 in Gainesville, Florida, as she previously told McMurphy in a story that published on Aug. 1.

In a conversation with ESPN's Dan Murphy, Courtney Smith said "the details in the Dispatch's article were largely what she remembered telling police nearly three years ago," except for the claim that she told the officer at the scene that Ohio State had sent a lawyer to pressure her to drop charges.

“No way,” Courtney Smith told Murphy. “I would have never said that.”

The police report obtained by the Dispatch "also details several other previous incidents," and Courtney Smith told Powell Police officer Ben Boruchowitz "that she could not keep track of all the incidents and that many happened in the presence of their small children."

Powell Police were dispatched to Courtney Smith's home on Oct. 26, 2015, when she reported "that a domestic incident happened last night at her home and that she has been a victim of sustained physical abuse by the suspect." Charges were never filed against Smith.

Gary Vest, the chief of Powell Police, told the Dispatch "that the full investigation contains information that would explain or dispute allegations by Courtney Smith." Powell Police, however, have declined to release their full investigation report to the public.

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