On Thursday, Sept. 22, 439th District Judge David Rakow sentenced Michael Paul Smith to the penitentiary after Smith pleaded to six counts of promotion of child pornography and 39 counts of invasive visual recording, according to the Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office.
Smith, 45, was arrested in November of 2021 after he was accused of video recording female patrons in the ladies’ restroom at The Fatted Calf in Rockwall. A Fatted Calf manager called Rockwall police and reported that another employee had found Smith’s phone hidden in the trashcan and positioned to record those using the toilet. Smith was a dishwasher at the restaurant and had volunteered to re-stock the toilet paper in the women’s restroom to gain access, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Rockwall police detectives obtained a search warrant to seize and search Smith’s phone. Forensic analysis of the phone revealed that Smith had video recorded at least 39 women, including teenagers, using the restroom over a period of several weeks, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Rockwall police arrested Smith, and he admitted to making the recordings. Video on his phone also showed Smith as he placed the phone in the trashcan. Smith told detectives he “just wanted to see body parts.” Smith further stated he would be “flattered” if someone secretly recorded him. Police put out public notices about the arrest at that time and asked for any other potential victims to come forward, said the District Attorney’s Office.
“Michael Smith was a convicted felon and registered sex offender and still managed to groom his environment to violate women and teenagers,” said Rockwall County Assistant District Attorney Justin Almand. “Thank you to the Rockwall Police Department for its swift and thorough investigation that allowed us to finally remove this predator from our community.”
Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper added, “This is another example of when you see something, say something. I am so glad the reporting employee asked questions when she saw the phone in the trashcan and reported her concerns to a manager. Sexual predators unfortunately live among us, and it is up to each of us to report suspicious activity.”