Man who filmed infant sex abuse sentenced to life in prison


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man convicted of filming an infant being sexually abused will likely spend life in prison.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango sentenced Richard Smith II, 41, on Wednesday to serve between 205 and 775 years behind bars.

Smith was convicted earlier this year of 11 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, four counts of sexual assault and five counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in position of trust.

After handing down the sentence, Salango told Smith the videos he made that jurors had to watch “brought grown men to tears,” the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

“I think that you are one of the most evil persons who I’ve ever encountered,” Salango said.

Smith declined to speak before being sentenced.

Smith and his ex-girlfriend, Roseanna Thompson, were arrested in May 2018 and accused of recording Thompson’s relative, described as a female infant, being abused three years prior, state police said at the time. The arrests came after troopers were tipped off that Smith had child pornography at his home, news outlets reported.

Thompson is scheduled to stand trial in April.

(Editor’s note: As previously reported by Ohio Valley Publishing, Smith, who was living in Mason, W.Va. at the time of his arrest, was taken into custody by troopers with the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police.)

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