Sarasota man arrested after touching girl on a sailboat ride, more victims coming forward

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SARASOTA, FL – A Sarasota man has been arrested and charged for crimes against a child victim, the Sarasota Police Department reports.

John M. Smith, 47, of Sarasota, has been arrested and is facing charges of sexual battery on a victim under 12 by an offender over 18.  Smith is being held in the Sarasota County Jail.  Detectives believe there may be additional victims and are asking them to call Detective Maria Llovio.

In June 2021, the victim, a 7-year-old girl, stayed on a sailboat with Smith.  When the child returned home, she told her father that Smith touched her inappropriately.  The victim and Smith do know one another.  In July 2021, Sarasota Police detectives worked with the Child Protection Center to continue their investigation. 

On July 21, 2021, Smith’s ex-wife told Sarasota Police detectives when she was married to Smith, her daughter disclosed that Smith touched her inappropriately in 2008.  Detectives learned it began at the age of three.

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Smith was arrested on July 21, 2021, in a parking lot on Bayfront Drive, Sarasota.  He was transported to the Sarasota County Jail without incident. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Maria Llovio at 941-263-6836 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at   Booking photos can be found on the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office website at