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December 31, 2021

Darby Township elected official charged with raping juvenile

Marvin Smith, 50, a commissioner in the town since 2019, was arrested on Tuesday. He is accused sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2017

Crime Sexual Assaults
Darby Commissioner Rape charge Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Darby Township Commissioner Marvin Smith, 50, is charged with raping a teenage boy in Philadelphia in 2017. Smith, elected in the township in 2019, was arrested Tuesday.

Darby Township commissioner Marvin Smith was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy after luring him into his car in Philadelphia in 2017.

Smith, 50, is a Democrat elected as the commissioner representing Darby Township's First Ward in 2019. He is charged with rape, statutory sexual assault, luring a child into a motor vehicle and other offenses, Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson Eric McLaurin confirmed on Friday.

Smith turned himself in Tuesday. A warrant had been issued for his arrest on Nov. 22. Court documents show Smith posted his $100,000 bail on Wednesday and was released pending his next court date scheduled for Jan. 5

In April 2019, the boy told Philadelphia police he had been sexually assaulted by Smith on Aug. 12, 2017, McLaurin said. The alleged victim was 15 at the time of the incident.

He told investigators he was approached by Smith in a vehicle. The commissioner identified himself as a family friend and offered to give the boy a ride home.

But instead Smith drove to a park near 200 S. 63rd St. where he allegedly exposed himself to the boy before sexually assaulting him. Then Smith  dropped the teen off at an undisclosed location and drove away.

It's unclear at this time why the investigation into Smith lasted two years before he was arrested.

"The township takes these matters very seriously and will cooperate to the fullest extent with any investigation related to Commissioner Smith," Darby officials said in a statement to 6ABC.

The town won't take any action regarding Smith until a conviction or guilty plea is secured.

For a short time after taking office, Smith served as Darby Township's police commissioner. He was removed from that position in September 2020 after he shared an image on Facebook showing two Black men pointing guns at a white police officer, along with the line, "Does it have to come to this to make them stop murdering and terrorizing us?"

Smith removed the post and apologized online after the meme was condemned by the Delaware County district attorney and other law enforcement groups.