Comments here from
a dad: The lenient sentence shows
yet another double standard, cops
v. regular white men. As horrible
as the crime against the girl is,
what also caught my eye was the reason
they used for the plea agreement.
He gets to keep his pension which
"will mean more child support
payments for the girl". She is
under the custody of DSS, there is
no doubt that she would gets fed,
clothed etcetera even if the child
support weren't coming in from this
molester. It supports the argument
many guys are making that the MA "system"
is working perhaps in a concerted
effort to get as much child support
ordered as possible.
SOMEONE OR MANY OF US SHOULD WRITE
LETTERS TO EDITOR ABOUT THIS ONE.
PROBABLY REPORTED INTO THE BOSTON
HERALD TOO (letters must be very short
for the BH.) Good luck... post on
list if get published. Mike Franco
Home > News & Opinion >
Local News Coverage
Ex-cop avoids jail despite molesting
girl By Associated Press Monday, May
TAUNTON -- Child advocates are criticizing
a plea deal that allows a former Taunton
police officer to stay out of jail
and keep his pension, despite admitting
that he repeatedly molested his adoptive
Under David Smith's plea agreement,
negotiated with prosecutors this month,
he was sentenced to pre-trial probation
for four years, meaning the charge
will be dismissed if he stays out
of trouble during that period.
That also means he walks away with
no criminal conviction and won't have
to register as a sex offender, The
Enterprise of Brockton reported yesterday.
Smith, 58, admitted assaulting the
child nearly every night for a year
beginning when she was 7 years old.
"It's an extremely lenient sentence
that doesn't serve to protect the
community and its children and it
sends the wrong message that people
can do this and get away with a slap
on the wrist," Janice Pothier-Pac,
director of emergency services for
rape crisis center New Hope, told
Smith, a 27-year veteran of the police
force, resigned last July after his
arrest. He was charged after he told
a counselor about the abuse, which
started in 2000 after his then-wife
Smith admitted to sexually abusing
the child for more than a year, prosecutors
said. The abuse involved touching
his genitals, sometimes with her feet,
Bristol County District Attorney Paul
Walsh Jr. defended the plea agreement.
He said allowing Smith to keep his
pension will mean more child support
payments for the girl, now 11. A conviction
would have stripped him of his $38,000
Forcing the girl to testify would
have been traumatic, he added.
"Everything has to do with the
health, the safety, the security and
the welfare of that little girl,"
Walsh said. "The trauma to her
would have been unconscionable."
The girl is now in custody of the
Department of Social Services.
"She has now a therapist, she
has people at DSS, all of whom believe
this was in the best interest of the
child to do it this way," Walsh
told the Enterprise. "They all
agreed this was the way to go."
But letting Smith walk free sends
a bad message, said Jetta Bernier,
chairman of the Massachusetts Child
Sexual Abuse Prevention Partnership
and executive director of Massachusetts
Citizens For Children.
"What message does this send
to the child?" Bernier said.
"What message does this send
to other offenders? That we are not
raising the bar and you can get away
Taunton District Court Judge Francis
L. Marini sentenced Smith on May 2.
Smith's attorney, Daniel M. Rich of
Norton, said his client does not admit
guilt in the plea agreement.
If Smith violates his probation, the
case would go to trial and he could
face three years in jail.
Marini ordered Smith to undergo sex
offender counseling, stay away from
the girl, and pay child support.
( © Copyright 105 Associated Press.
All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten,
or redistributed. )
Story on the Impact of Child Support