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Boydton man gets 23 years for juvenile sex offenses

SoVaNow.com / May 15, 2019
Harry Smith Jr. of Boydton will spend the next 23 years in prison after being convicted of having sex with an underage family member who was in his care, and production, reproduction and possession of child pornography.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Leslie Osborn sentenced Smith to 200 years in prison, with 177 years suspended, leaving the 23-year active term. Osborn ordered the defendant to register and re-register as a sex offender, pay $9,641 in court costs and undergo counseling.

Smith had been facing a 200-year sentence on 12 counts of possession of child pornography, two counts of reproduction of child pornography, one count of producing pornography, one count of filming child pornography, one count of enticing a minor to perform pornography, one count of aggravated sexual battery, one count of sodomy, one count of incest with a minor and one count of violating a child by a parent or guardian.

The victim was 16 at the time of the crime, nearly two years ago. Smith’s lawyer, public defender Greg Ullom, told the court his client believed that he and the minor were involved in a consensual relationship. He also asked Osborn to take into consideration Smith’s lack of prior criminal history and his age, which made Smith less likely to repeat his crime.

Under a plea agreement entered into in October 2018, Smith confessed to 21 sex- and pornography-related charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping an additional 12 related counts.

Ahead of Smith’s sentence, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jordan Spires said federal agents seized multiple hard drives, videos and assorted images from the defendant during a raid on his home in June. There was also evidence that Smith had been surreptitiously filming the victim using hidden video cameras strategically placed throughout the house where the two lived, and on at least one occasion he had attempted to film the minor while she was bathing.

The items seized made up the bulk of the evidence that would have been used against Smith had he gone to trial.

In October, when Smith entered his plea, Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Nash explained that Smith’s sentencing would be delayed due to the availability of Osborn, who retired from the bench Dec. 31. Virginia law prohibited Osborn from serving as a visiting judge until he was retired for more than 93 days.

Defense attorney Ullom and Nash had agreed that Osborn should impose sentencing since he presided for Smith’s plea.

At Thursday’s sentencing, Smith apologized to the court, his family and the victim for his actions and the pain he caused.

He was arrested May 18, 2018 and has been held at Meherrin River Regional Jail since that date. Osborn said Smith would receive credit for time served. The judge also granted Spires’ request to place under seal the evidence used to convict Smith.

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