(NECN: Anya Huneke, St. Albans, VT) - A 34-year-old St. Albans, Vermont woman went before a judge Friday on charges she held three middle school aged boys against their will for sex. Police also say the boys were plied with drugs and alcohol.
As Misty Smith entered the St. Albans, courtroom Friday her smile quickly faded.
Smith is facing 17 charges, including aggravated sexual assault. The alleged victims-- three boys, ages 10 and 11.
One of the victims had been reported missing Tuesday night by his parents. When they - and police - confronted Smith at her home, police say she told them the boy wasn't there. Multiple visits later, police found him and two others in an upstairs bedroom. In interviews, two of them told authorities they had been given drugs and alcohol, locked up, and sexually assaulted by Smith.
Smith's attorney told the judge there may be more than meets the eye in this case. Bill Cristman says, "Even though she may be chronologically much older, it's likely she's emotionally much younger."
According to the affidavit, Smith had been engaging in sexual activity with the boys - and providing them with marijuana, cocaine, pills, and alcohol - for roughly a month. Smith told police the boys forced her into sex acts.
Smith's Nason Street home was quiet Friday. But some of her neighbors were on edge.
We spoke with a couple of Smith's neighbors who didn't want to go on camera. But one of them told us he had always had a funny feeling about Smith, to the point of not allowing his son to play in this house. Another one said her son used to play here-- until she no longer felt comfortable with it.
Smith is being held on $1 million bail. If convicted on certain of the 17 charges, she could face life in prison.