CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — A man accused in Kanawha County of filming an infant being molested was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison, with a judge and an assistant prosecutor calling him "evil" and a "monster."
Richard Smith was sentenced Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court to a minimum 205 years and maximum 775 years in prison.
Debra Rusnak, an assistant Kanawha County prosecutor, spoke on behalf of the family and gave a blistering statement in which she called Smith a monster.
“I stand here today, and I think of only one word and that word is monster,” Rusnak said. “It’s ironic because parents go throughout their children’s lives teaching them that monsters don’t exist. And, no, monsters may not be hiding under the bed or in the closet, but make no mistake about it, monsters do exist and Richard Smith is nothing short of a monster.”
Rusnak said the things he did to the child "are things that nightmares are made of. I know that myself, my co-counsel, the court, the investigating officers and the jury will never forget the things that we watched and the things that we heard throughout the course of this trial.”
Judge Tera Salango said she agreed with the assistant prosecutor’s statements, calling Smith evil.
“I think you are one of the most evil persons I’ve ever encountered,” Salango said. “I’ve worked in law enforcement and I have been a judge for a while. You are certainly the epitome of evil. I’m going to make sure you never do this to any other child for the rest of your life.”
In January, Smith was convicted on 11 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, four counts of first-degree sexual assault and five counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.
Smith and his ex-girlfriend, Roseanna Thompson, were arrested in May 2018, but the alleged crimes happened in 2015 at a home in South Charleston.
The arrests came after police were tipped off that he had child pornography at his home.
Thompson is set to go to trial in March.