Grand Prairie man accused of blackmailing a teen girl into having sex

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A high school sophomore testified that she was tricked, shamed and blackmailed into having sex with a 49-year-old man who had become a father figure to her.

Thomas Jefferson Smallwood Jr. of Grand Prairie is accused of using an alias to dupe the teen-age girl into sending him nude pictures of herself and then using the pictures to blackmail her into having sex with him.

Smallwood faces nine counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. If convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison.

The girl told the jury in state District Judge George Gallagher’s court that she was 15 when her mother’s boyfriend, who once lived with her and her mother, gave her a cellphone. She testified that the boyfriend had become a father figure for her and that they continued to see each other after he and her mother ended their relationship and she and her mother moved out of his house.

The girl testified that she went to El Paso with the man to visit his parents. While there, she told jurors, a stranger contacted her through Instagram, a picture sharing application, on the cellphone her mother’s ex-boyfriend gave her. She said she and the stranger eventually became social media friends.

The new friend identified himself as Jay-lo, but the teen later discovered that he was the ex-boyfriend. She testified that she and Jay-lo exchanged photographs of their private parts before she became aware who was behind the alias.

The girl testified that Jay-lo threatened to send nude photos of her to classmates and her mother and father if she ever stopped sending him nude pictures. She told the jury that after Jay-lo threatened her, the ex-boyfriend called and said he had received nude pictures of her on his cellphone.

The girl testified that Jay-lo’s threats became more demanding and that he ordered her to have sex with the ex-boyfriend and videotape the act or risk being exposed to friends and family. The teen said she tried to resist.

Jay-lo “kept asking for more pictures and if I didn’t do the pictures right I had to retake them,” the teen testified. Jay-lo “made a Facebook page and said [he] would friend all my friends and tell them.”

The teen testified that Jay-lo had put an “inappropriate” picture of her on the Facebook page.

She said she wore a mask that covered her eyes when she had sex with the ex-boyfriend so she did not have to see what was happening, but the mask also meant she could not be identified in the videos.

“Under the mask I was closing my eyes, wishing it were over,” the teen testified. “This happened eight to 11 times, maybe more.”

Testimony continues today.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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