Police: Man beat up girlfriend, 17, and broadcast it on her Snapchat

Smith Dorcent
Smith Dorcent Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Smith Dorcent, 18, used the phone belonging to the 17-year-old mother of his child to film himself beating her with a belt as she lay tied up on a bed, according to Boyton Beach police. Then, he allegedly broadcast the beating via her Snapchat account.

The May 16 video appeared long enough to be captured and sent to a Department of Children and Family services investigator, and now the Boynton Beach teen is in Palm Beach County jail on charges of child abuse and false imprisonment after being booked Wednesday.

The victim has a 10-month-old boy with Dorcent.

According to the domestic violence probable cause affidavit from the Boynton Beach Police Department, the DCF officer writing the report saw a video with a young woman on a bed with hands tied behind her back with a black, white and green cloth. The man taking the video was hitting the young woman with a belt.

After admitting to police she’s the woman in the video, the affidavit says, the victim said that the incident began when she refused to unlock her phone for him. She told police he held her down, tied her hands with the headband, grabbed one her fingers and pressed it to the phone to unlock it. Then, he filmed himself whipping her buttocks and legs. She wailed for Dorcent to stop. He stopped only to laugh and post the humiliation to her Snapchat account.

Snapchat quickly gained popularity among younger social media users for the way images and video disappear after a short time. That didn’t prevent a friend of the victim from seeing the posted video. The friend, recognizing Dorcent’s bedroom as the background and seeing the video had been up only a minute, raced over to the house. The victim told police that’s when Dorcent untied her. She left with her friend. She told police she didn’t report the beating in May for the same reason she stayed in a relationship with Dorcent: she feared him.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal