In Alabama, Birmingham City School officials announced that a coach for the Carver High School varsity football team was dismissed this week after they discovered he had a criminal record in Canada.
The coach, Trevis Smith was a former letterman for the University of Alabama from 1995 to 1998. In 1999, he joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team in Canada. He played for that team until his arrest in 2005 for aggravated sexual assault. Smith’s trial began in 2007 where he faced his accusers, two women who claimed he did not reveal to them he was HIV positive before he became intimate with them. Smith was found guilty and appealed his conviction in 2008, but was unsuccessful. He was sentenced to prison where he served two years of a six year sentence. He was deported to the United States after he was paroled in 1999.
During his parole hearing, he told the parole board that he expected to no longer be a professional athlete, but was interested in pursuing a career as a substitute teacher and coach. When asked if he would be allowed to work with children, Smith told the parole board that it would not be an issue because, “I won’t have a criminal record in Alabama.”
Over the past year, Smith has been working as a volunteer coach and a substitute teacher for Carver High School. He was recently promoted to a paid position as the defensive coordinator for the football team. Volunteers for the school must go through a background check, but the school only looked for criminal records within the United States. School officials launched a deeper investigation after a reporter questioned Smith about his criminal past during media day.
While criminal records research can vary from country to country, it certainly is good practice for employers to extend their background checks outside of United States’ borders when warranted. The fact that Trevis Smith felt he would have no problem getting a job because his criminal record wasn’t in Alabama is alarming, and he most likely isn’t the only person with a criminal past with that mindset. Backgrounds Online offers a wide range of international searches in order to assist employers in making the safest, best hiring decisions for their organizations.