Former Smith County cheer coach convicted of hidden video camera in locker room

A former Smith County cheerleading coach accused of installing a hidden video camera in a locker room has charged six charges of attempted particularly aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.

Andrew Halford was sentenced to 24 years, according to prosecutor Jason Lawson. Halford has been in custody since his arrest in January 2021.

The case involved six victims who were students at Elite Cheerleading and Gymnastics in Carthage, where Halford worked as a coach. Halford used the hidden camera to obtain a video clip of victims undressing, prosecutors said.

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Halford, 34, was given a four-year prison sentence for each victim served consecutively, Lawson said. The plea deal, he added, was discussed with victims and their parents.

“Thanks to a plea deal, the victims did not have to testify at the trial and we did not have to present the evidence in court, although we would have done so in the most discreet manner possible,” Lawson said. “Furthermore, the appeals are waived in a plea, and so the case comes to a final conclusion on the day of the plea.”

Halford also has pending charges in Williamson County. According to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, the charges include one count of aggravated unlawful photography of a minor and five counts of attempted unlawful photography of a minor.

Reach Andy Humbles at ahumbles@tennessean.com or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.

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