Theater company owner pleads guilty to statutory rape


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A theater company owner has pleaded guilty to aggravated statutory rape.

Joshua Conrad Smith will avoid jail time in the plea deal, but he will spend 16 years as a registered sex offender.

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Smith operated Closed Door Entertainment and promoted productions around town,  including versions of School of Rock at Harrison United Methodist Church and Beauty and the Beast at Memorial Auditorium.

Chattanooga police arrested him last December for having sex with two underage girls who were in the company.

Assistant D.A. Leslie Longshore says the victims and their families agreed to the plea deal, saying they wanted to move on with their lives.

Smith was also ordered to have no contact with the victims.

Production of Next to Normal