September 16, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
62°F
test

Protesters turn out to back Nancy Smith, Joseph Allen

CT photo by Bruce Bishop.

CT photo by Bruce Bishop.

LORAIN — A handful of protesters showed up at Lorain City Hall to draw attention to the Head Start sex abuse case involving Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen.

Protesters carried signs that said “Free Nancy” and “Justice for Smith and Allen,” among other things.

Following their 1994 trial, Smith was consigned to prison for 30 to 90 years, while co-defendant Joseph Allen was sentenced to serve five consecutive terms.

After ordering new sentencing hearings, Burge acquitted both Smith and Allen in 2009, saying he believed they were wrongly convicted. Smith — who, like Allen, has maintained her innocence — was accused of taking 4- and 5-year-old children on her Head Start bus route to Allen’s home, where the children were sexually abused.

Earlier this week Burge declined to send Smith back to prison, deciding instead to continue the hearing to resolve issues involving the state Supreme Court’s orders.