November 26, 2014

Elyria
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31°F
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Deal means Nancy Smith will remain free

Nancy Smith in court today. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

Nancy Smith in court today. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

ELYRIA — Nancy Smith will not return to prison under a sentencing agreement with prosecutors approved today.

Smith

Smith

Smith wiped tears from her eyes as the hearing concluded in a courtroom packed with her supporters.

Visiting Judge Virgil Sinclair agreed to sentence Smith to 12 years in prison in the controversial Head Start child molestation case.

The original sentence imposed on Smith was 30-to-90 years in prison and she had already served roughly 15 years in prison. Sinclair reduced the original rape charges Smith was convicted of to gross sexual imposition.

The terms of the agreement bar Smith, who has long maintained her innocence, from filing a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit. A motion for a new trial Smith’s lawyers had filed was dismissed under the agreement.

Smith’s lawyers said their client wanted to put the fear of being returned to prison behind her.

Smith was freed in 2009 by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge because of a technical flaw in the 1994 sentencing entry that ordered her to prison. Burge freed her codefendant Joseph Allen, that same year and later acquitted both after reviewing the evidence in the case.

He said at the time that he had no confidence the guilty verdicts were correct. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that Burge had overstepped his authority.

Smith and Allen, who wasn’t in court today, remained free after that and both have asked the Ohio Parole Board to recommend that Ohio Gov. John Kasich grant them executive clemency. Burge appeared before the Parole Board in January at a hearing for Smith and urged them to back her clemency bid.

Burge later removed himself from the case and Sinclair was appointed to replace him. Lawyers for both Smith and Allen have asked Sinclair to order new trials based on what they contend is newly discovered evidence of botched interviews of the 4- and 5-year-olds who claimed they were molested by the pair.

Read Wednesday’s Chronicle for more on this story.


  • http://PricesKarate.com/ DavePrice

    she was innocent, the only reason they made the deal is because now she cannot sue for being in prison for 15 years for the circus of blame that followed until that type of questioning was found to be so faulty.

    • Jackie Thomas

      The state wins again. I wish they had not taken all the fight out of that woman. They know she has a strong case and would win it. They are black mailing her with her freedom. THey know they have worn her down. I pray that all those that were involved in the wrong doing to this woman and that man see the goddess of KARMA each and everyday that they live. Im happy she is free. THey need to stay out of her face and leave her alone now….

  • Denise Caruloff

    gross sexual imposition agreement…..really? omg…how sad. I guess if she agreed to it…perhaps it is true?. I don’t know anymore about anything. I am so done with all of this., not my future…not for me to judge. I hope everybody lives happily ever after now…bring on the champagne and pop that cork!

    • SSP

      I believe she agreed to the sentencing deal to put it behind her. She didn’t re-plead guilty. Also, if she hadn’t agreed to it, the judge could have re-imposed the original 30-90 years and her bid for a new trial may have still failed. With the “justice” she received the first time around, I wouldn’t take my chances either.

      • Denise Caruloff

        6 count of gross sexual imposition! she agreed to..ok..me..i would never agree to dittleing kids if I did not do it…and no I have never been in prision..and I think this is all horrible…but she agreed to 6 counts…and here is the definition of gross sexual imposition..i guess we’ll be seeing her picture in the mail soon. wtf!

        Gross sexual imposition essentially means the act of causing someone to have sex against their will with someone other than the one charged with the imposition. Examples of this would be forcing someone into prostitution or drugging someone into unconsciousness to allow someone else to have sex with them. If this is connected to a rape case, it is usually charged against the individual(s) who held the victim down while someone else actually raped them.

        The state of Ohio cites specific conditions where sexual imposition can mean the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.

        Ohio Law on Gross Sexual Imposition

        (A) No person shall have sexual contact with another, not the spouse of the offender; cause another, not the spouse of the offender, to have sexual contact with the offender; or cause two or more other persons to have sexual contact when any of the following applies:

        (1) The offender purposely compels the other person, or one of the other persons, to submit by force or threat of force.

        (2) For the purpose of preventing resistance, the offender substantially impairs the judgment or control of the other person or of one of the other persons by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.

        (3) The offender knows that the judgment or control of the other person or of one of the other persons is substantially impaired as a result of the influence of any drug or intoxicant administered to the other person with the other person’s consent for the purpose of any kind of medical or dental examination, treatment, or surgery.

        (4) The other person, or one of the other persons, is less than thirteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of that person.

        (5) The ability of the other person to resist or consent or the ability of one of the other persons to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the ability to resist or consent of the other person or of one of the other persons is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.In Ohio, Gross sexual imposition is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

        (B) No person shall knowingly touch the genitalia of another, when the touching is not through clothing, the other person is less than twelve years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of that person, and the touching is done with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

        Gross Sexual Imposition is a felony in Ohio.

        Ohio law on Sexual Imposition

        (A) No person shall have sexual contact with another, not the spouse of the offender; cause another, not the spouse of the offender, to have sexual contact with the offender; or cause two or more other persons to have sexual contact when any of the following applies:

        (1) The offender knows that the sexual contact is offensive to the other person, or one of the other persons, or is reckless in that regard.

        (2) The offender knows that the other person’s, or one of the other person’s, ability to appraise the nature of or control the offender’s or touching person’s conduct is substantially impaired.

        (3) The offender knows that the other person, or one of the other persons, submits because of being unaware of the sexual contact.

        (4) The other person, or one of the other persons, is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of such person, and the offender is at least eighteen years of age and four or more years older than such other person.

        (5) The offender is a mental health professional, the other person or one of the other persons is a mental health client or patient of the offender, and the offender induces the other person who is the client or patient to submit by falsely representing to the other person who is the client or patient that the sexual contact is necessary for mental health treatment purposes.

        (B) No person shall be convicted of a violation of this section solely upon the victim’s testimony unsupported by other evidence.

        Sexual Imposition is a misdemeanor in Ohio.

        Defense for Gross Sexual Imposition

        Gross Sexual Imposition is a serious criminal charge. A conviction leads to severe jail terms and requires that you register as a sex offender. Therefore it is vital to vigorously fight this charge.

        As with the majority of sex crimes, Gross Sexual Imposition charges are often based only on the testimony of the accuser. Expert research often results in the charges being dropped before going to trial. If a trial is inevitable, specific strategies are used to defend this sex crime charge.

        • Jackie Thomas

          Denise….after 15 years of prison life before anyone even bothered to hear THIS MUCH….I can understand why her white flag is up. If THIS was allowed to happen in the first place?..where is ANY justice and why press your luck.? Yes, they took a piece of her life UNFAIRLY…then so be it. I hope it never happens to anyone else. And I dont blame her for taking DOOR #3
          I hope she can now live happily ever after. The nightmare will live, but now at least the rest of you know what CAN HAPPEN and stay on top of your game. Our justice system is NOT OUR FRIENDS all the time. I pray much love to this woman and her family. They have seen HELL and made it thru the fire. THANK YOU GOD for His mercy and goodness.

        • littlebit1256

          I am so glad Denise that you can walk in her shoes, you have no I idea what you are talking about. Joe would roll over in his grave if he heard you talking that way. you should be ashamed of your self. Just like that rumor you started about Joesph Allen what a big mouth and a know it all. Just do everyone in Nancy’s family a favor and keep your mouth shut and stay out of their business.

      • David France

        You can spin it anyway you want. The fact is that she was guilty from the get go. And now this proves it. Now for MR.Allen is about to get his.

        • Michele From Ohio

          I hope for your sake you are trolling. If you bothered to read the details of this case you would know there is no possible way Nancy Smith and Joesph Allen committed these crimes. For starters, a school bus parked for hours in front of public housing? Really? The public defender who botched their cases should be disbarred.

    • Michele From Ohio

      NANCY SMITH AND JOESPH ALLEN ARE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF A WITCH HUNT. Read up on the case, for God’s sake.

  • David France

    Guilty as sin you liberals.

    • TRB SR.

      You cowardly repuke. I’d like to meet you in PERSON teabagger scum.

    • Michele From Ohio

      Go back under your bridge, troll.

  • Holly Jackson

    Wow….I really don’t know what to say here except that Lorain County should be ashamed of themselves. This case is a GROSS injustice and it is NOT the 1st of it’s kind in this county. There are plenty more where this one came from. Those people just haven’t been allowed to be in the media…nor does the community really care. It’s true people, INNOCENT people DO go to jail for crimes they didn’t commit! Also Lorain County OVER CHARGES people so they can ensure some type of conviction.
    For all you LAW experts out there…90% of the time, cases end in plea deals. 75% of the time people are genuinely guilty. The other 15% of the time people are scared to death of doing a lengthy prison stint for something they didn’t do because of preconceived/contrived notions and opinions OR because of the lack of law knowledge from a “jury of their peers”. I mean let’s face it 80% of you believe that just because the police arrest somebody that they automatically must be guilty. So when the words: murderer, rapist, child molester etc are involved no matter WHAT you try to tell me…most people are convinced that the person is guilty before ever being tried.
    This lady has done over 15 years of her life. The “justice” that you all have elected has sentenced her. Leave her alone and let her move on with the rest of her life. She one day will meet her maker and THAT is the ONLY person she has to answer to.
    Last but not least…while some of you are SO busy judging HER…maybe you should concentrate on your OWN skeletons in your families and your own closets.

  • Michele From Ohio

    Once again Nancy Smith is railroaded by the so called ‘criminal justice system’. Why should she spend the rest of her life registering as a sex offender when it is obvious to anyone with half a brain she was the victim of a broken system. A system that is obviously STILL broken.

    What happened to Nancy Smith and Joesph Allen could happen to any of us. Something to seriously think about.

  • Michele From Ohio
  • Michele From Ohio

    They bring in a RETIRED judge from Stark County for this verdict. He cannot
    be voted out of office for the latest and hopefully last, miscarriage
    of justice in this case.

    I have made note of the names of all the bad actors involved in this
    case from the beginning. When the next county elections roll around, if
    any of their names are on the ballot, I am voting against each and
    every one of them. I invite you all to join me, it’s the only way to get
    any justice in this case.

  • http://heartmindandseoul.com/ Sook

    Oh geez… She should have been exonerated so that she could sue the heck out of the state and those horrible mothers that purposely made up ridiculous stories and put those ideas in their own children’s head to blame people and make money off of it. Who’s the real criminal here? Awful, awful people with no conscience at all! I am glad that Nancy and Joseph are free, though. Enjoy every moment of it. YIKES!