Smith entered the plea in writing via his attorney.
Smith has a May 20 court date, according to records. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
He was arrested April 29 by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at his home after a six-month investigation. Per Florida Statute 794.05, the charge of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is a second-degree felony and applies to any person 24 or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years old.
ESPN obtained a copy of the arrest warrant, and in it, Smith is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl multiple times, both at his home and in his vehicle, last August and September. The victim told Smith the day they first met she had recently turned 17 and a witness corroborated that, per the report.
The warrant also states that Smith offered the victim $200 while driving her back to her car after their first sexual encounter, and that he told the victim not to tell anyone about the encounter because he could go to jail. The victim eventually accepted $100 from Smith, who also asked the victim to say he was her “mentor” if anyone asked about them meeting, per the warrant.
The warrant also states that investigators collected evidence from Smith’s vehicle and compared it to a DNA sample obtained from the victim. The results were consistent with a DNA sample taken from the victim, and the likelihood that the sample taken from the car came from someone other than the victim “was greater than one in 700 billion,” per the warrant.
Smith hasn’t played for the Jaguars since the 2018 season finale. He announced on social media in May 2019 that he would not play football in 2019, saying that he needed to take time off for his family and his health. The team put Smith on the reserve/retired list just before training camp began last July.
The Jaguars drafted Smith in the fifth round in 2014. A positive marijuana test at the NFL combine contributed to him dropping and per league rules also placed him in the NFL’s substance abuse program. He missed only four games — all because of injuries — in his five seasons and played in the Pro Bowl after the 2017 season.