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More prison for child-molesting Sunday school teacher
A former York County Sunday school teacher still serving state prison time for his 2011 child-molestation convictions has been sentenced to another six to 12 years for sexually assaulting two more children.
Donald W. Smith, 59, appeared in York County Court on Monday, Jan. 29, and pleaded guilty to the felonies of statutory sexual assault and solicitation to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse on a child less than 13. He also pleaded guilty to the first-degree misdemeanor of indecent assault on a child less than 13.
He was already required to register for the rest of his life with state police as a sexually violent predator under the state's Megan's Law for his 2011 convictions, deputy prosecutor Teresa Jauregui confirmed.
Smith's plea agreement on his new charges called for him to be sentenced to a total of five to 10 years in state prison — with five to 10 for one victim and a concurrent one- to two-year sentence for the second victim.
But after hearing one victim speak in court and reviewing the written impact statement from the other victim, presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook had other ideas.
Extra prison time: She accepted Smith's guilty pleas but indicated she intended to run the sentences consecutively, for a total of six to 12 years in state prison.
Cook gave Smith the chance to withdraw his guilty pleas and go to trial instead, but he chose not to do so, his defense attorney, public defender Ron Jackson Jr., said in court.
Cook then handed down the six- to 12-year sentence and gave Smith credit for the 187 days he was held on the new York County charges. She ordered him to have no contact with the two victims.
Now that he's been sentenced, Smith will be transported back to the State Correctional Institution at Waymart in Wayne County, according to Amy Worden, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
He was being held at SCI Waymart, although he was eligible for parole, when police filed the charges for which he was sentenced this week, Jauregui said.
Smith's crimes: York Area Regional Police investigated Smith after a woman contacted them in July and said Smith had sex with her twice in the summer of 1996, when she was a teen.
After the first sexual encounter, she told him she didn't want to do it again, police said. Despite that, Smith went to her home when she was alone and had sex with her again, police said.
He also indecently assaulted her while they were in a pool, police said. At the time, Smith was living in Windsor, police said.
Two months earlier, in May, a man reported to York Area Regional Police that Smith molested him when he was a juvenile.
The victim said Smith fondled him when he was a boy and made him fondle Smith between 1998 and 2000, police said. The victim told police he refused Smith's requests to give and receive oral sex.
Detective Donald Hopple Jr. of York Area Regional Police filed the charges against Smith on July 26.
Earlier cases: Smith pleaded guilty in 2011 to child sexual assault charges in three cases, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault on a child.
West Manchester Township Police filed the charges against him after learning he had sexually assaulted three girls when they were 11, 12 and 14 years old. At the time, Smith lived in that township.
The 11-year-old told police Smith was her Sunday school teacher and youth counselor. Police never identified the local church.
In Pennsylvania, the statutes of limitations on child-sex assault offenses vary, depending both on the seriousness of the offense and when it occurred, according to chief deputy prosecutor Chuck Murphy.
Generally speaking, he said, the statutes of limitation on child sex crimes begin to run after the alleged victim turns 18 — not at the time of the offense.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.