UPDATE: Local counselor handed $500 fine, 10 days in jail as part of battery sentence

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 10:50 a.m. UPDATE: The sentencing is handed down to a Beckley counselor.

Hamlet Smith was sentenced to 10 days in jail, six months of home confinement, and a $500 fine. The incarceration can be served on the weekends. He pleaded guilty to battery, a misdemeanor, back in May.

Raleigh County Prosecutor Ben Hatfield said Smith will get credit for time served. At the time of his sentencing, Smith already served one day.

Under the West Virginia Good Time Law, those convicted of a misdemeanor get one day of their sentence taken off for every day served. In this case, Smith will likely serve only four additional days, according to Hatfield.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. UPDATE: A local counselor pleaded guilty to battery.

Hamlet Smith, the CEO of Life Strategies Counseling, entered a guilty plea on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. This stems from an investigation in October 2019 where Smith inappropriately touched a woman during a meeting at his office. The woman was not a patient.

Smith admitted to that claim during Wednesday’s hearing.

“I touched her in a provocative or insulting way,” Smith said.

Smith was originally indicted for first degree sexual abuse in January 2020. Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Hatfield said they would not be able to prove there was any fear of physical harm when the incident happen.

“I don’t think we gave up really anything in terms of ground. I just think we met the likely result that a trial would’ve came back,” Hatfield explained.

Smith pleaded guilty to battery, which is a misdemeanor. Smith faces up to 12 months in jail or a $500 fine, or both.

Smith is still employed at Life Strategies Counseling. He is listed as the CEO on the company’s website, although Hatfield said he is not allowed to see patients right now. It will be up to the West Virginia Board of Social Work to determine whether he will lose his license.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 2/5/2020 10:00 a.m. UPDATE: A local counselor pleaded not guilty to first degree sexual abuse.

Hamlet Smith made the plea at his arraignment on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. He will stay out on his current bond.

The CEO of Life Strategies Counseling was arrested after allegedly abusing the victim, who was not a apatient, at his office.

Smith’s next court appearance is set for Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at 9 a.m.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 1/23/2020 2:30 p.m. UPDATE: CEO of Life Strategies Counseling, Hamlet Smith, was indicted for First Degree Sexual Abuse.

Smith was arrested in October 2019 for sexually abusing the victim while at his office. The victim was not a patient.

Smith will be arraigned in front of Judge Darl Poling on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — ORIGINAL STORY: CEO of Life Strategies Counseling, Hamlet Smith, was arrested on sexual abuse charges.

Beckley Police arrested Smith on Monday, October 28, 2019. He is charged with first degree sexual abuse.

The charges stem from an investigation into an incident that happened at Life Strategies Counseling on October 22, 2019. Smith had a meeting with the female victim who was not a patient. Court documents state Smith touched the victim inappropriately.

Smith’s bond was set at $10,000. He made bail Monday night.

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