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Nickelodeon Employee’s ‘To Catch a Predator’ Clip Resurfaces | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


After all four episodes of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV aired, the docuseries about the toxic culture behind the scenes at Nickelodeon in the 1990s and early 2000s, information is being shared online about the children’s channel.

This includes an old clip of a Nickelodeon employee who appeared on an episode of To Catch a Predator resurfacing. The series followed host Chris Hansen as he confronted adult men arriving at a sting house to have sex with someone they believed was a minor—and typically being arrested as a result.

Justin Smith was a 27-year-old freelance post-production editor for Nickelodeon who was a suspected predator in the Long Beach, California, edition of To Catch a Predator. During the episode, Hansen alleged that Smith used the username “residentsmith” to talk to a decoy online named Carly, who he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

When talking to Carly online, Smith made several concerning statements and engaged in grooming behavior. This took place during his employment at the children’s channel.

A screenshot of Justin Smith on an episode of “How To Catch a Predator” and the Nickelodeon logo. After appearing on an episode of the show, Smith is now a registered sex offender for life.

Tasos Katopodis/MSNBC/Getty Images

Newsweek emailed NBC, which aired To Catch a Predator, and spokespeople for Nickelodeon for comment on Thursday.

After the decoy sent Smith pictures of herself online, he wrote that “it’s definitely bad i think you’re this cute. lol.” He then proceeded to send her several naked pictures of himself.

Smith emailed her links to at least 40 pornographic videos over 10 days that showed everything from oral sex to masturbation to sex among multiple partners. He also told her he wanted to have oral sex with her when they met up and instructed the decoy on how to delete her internet history.

During his conversations with the decoy, Smith admitted that it was against the law for someone to expose themselves to someone under the age of 18. He also expressed concern multiple times for the consequences of his actions.

That didn’t stop him from inquiring as to whether the decoy had ever witnessed sexual activity, saying that such content is “more raw and rough on the web.” During the exchange, Smith said while they couldn’t have a relationship together, they could engage in “fun” activities.

When he spoke about performing oral sex on the decoy, he suggested using a pillow to prop her up and engaging in “dry humping.” He also made other inappropriate comments to the decoy, including wanting to “suck and nibble” on her breasts.

When Smith arrived at the sting house, an 18-year-old actress posing as a 13-year-old greeted him. Hansen quickly revealed himself, which resulted in Smith attempting to run out of the house.

He was caught by Long Beach police officers outside the property, at which point he began to cry and claimed he never planned on doing anything wrong. Smith voiced his worries to the police about how his arrest may affect his job and his relationships with friends and family.

Read More about Nickelodeon

Talking to the To Catch a Predator cameras, Sergeant Lee DeBrabander said: “He knew coming in that what he was doing was wrong. That’s why when he realized when he was caught and the ramifications on his life and everyone around him, that, in my mind, is why he became so emotional.”

On January 31, 2007, Smith pleaded no contest to two counts: an attempted lewd act upon a child under 14 years of age and attempting to distribute harmful matter.

Smith was spared jail time but was sentenced to five years of probation, was required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, undergo sexual offender counseling, abstain from internet usage, avoid any contact with children under the age of 18, and refrain from owning or viewing any form of pornography.

Nickelodeon fired Smith after the revelations came to light and said he had no contact with children when he worked there, per NBC.

An X user (formerly Twitter) posted a clip of the episode to the social media site, saying they were “genuinely amazed that the editor that was caught literally by chris hansen wasn’t mentioned” during Quiet on Set.