William Smith sentenced to 20 years

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Out of every 100 rapes reported in the U.S. only 5.6 percent of the assailants are arrested and only 0.7 percent are convicted of a felony. However, the Escambia County District Attorney Stephen Billy and his team managed to defy those statistics by convicting William Smith of one count of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, sodomy I, sodomy II, and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes. Smith plead guilty last Wednesday.

Smith took the DA’s plea deal which gives him a 20 year sentence for each victim to run concurrent with each other. Smith will not be eligible for parole due to the crime and age of the children. Billy said if Smith hadn’t plead guilty, he could have been facing much worse charges.

“He was looking at 15-life on the class A felonies, 10-20 on the Class B felonies and 2-20 on the class C felonies,” Billy said. “He pled to 20 years on each case except for the newer case, which he got a 17 and a half sentence for.”

Smith was first arrested back in Feb. 14, 2019. He was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 against two boys. But as time passed, more victims came forward, which resulted in Smith getting arrested again just two days after posting $125,000 bail on Jan. 22, 2019. There were a total of six victims who came forward.

“We spared all of these boys from having to testify at trial, and we also avoided the appeal process, which can take years,” Billy said. “Everybody has their opinion about punishment in these cases, but the main thing is, the victims and their families were satisfied, and I felt good about it as a prosecutor. These are difficult cases for everyone involved to have to try and relive the horrible experiences. Anytime you can settle a case and avoid that situation, you have done a good service for the victim, the jury and all involved.”