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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

Charge dismissed against professor

Prosecutors dismissed a misdemeanor charge of battery against Stephen Smith, a Notre Dame law professor who was accused of assaulting his son, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune on Wednesday.

Smith appeared in court last week, expecting to go to trial on the misdemeanor battery charge, when he learned prosecutors had dismissed the case, the Tribune reported.

The case has been in progress for more than three years now. In June of 2011, prosecutors accused Smith of battering his wife, a Class D felony battery charge, the Tribune reported. Later, the state charged him with misdemeanor battery for allegedly fighting with his son when the then 23-year-old reportedly tried to intervene.

Later, prosecutors charged Smith with two misdemeanor counts that accused him of violating a protective order which was in place after the allegations, according to the Tribune.

In March, the prosecutors ran out of time to bring to trial the felony battery charge involving Smith’s wife, due to Indiana's two-year statute of limitations. However, the Court of Appeals ordered that the misdemeanor battery charge regarding the alleged assault against his son would stand, the Tribune reported.

The case was further delayed by a change in the judge overseeing the case and the son opposing a subpoena to come testify in Indiana, the Tribune reported.

In May, a judge acquitted Smith of one of the two invasion of privacy charges he faced in connection with the alleged protective order violation, according to the Tribune.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for the one invasion of privacy charge that remains.

According to the Notre Dame Law website, Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. He came to Notre Dame in 2009 and teaches courses on criminal law, criminal adjudication and federal criminal law.