Mason County man convicted of sexually assaulting infant

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Richard Smith II

Richard Smith II walks into Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango’s courtroom Wednesday morning. Smith was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 1-year-old in 2015.

A Mason County man was found guilty Wednesday of molesting his then-fiancé’s 1-year-old granddaughter in 2015.

Richard Smith II, 41, was found guilty in Kanawha Circuit Court on 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.

The nine-man, three-woman jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes before finding Smith guilty on all 20 counts, ending the three-day trial in Judge Tera Salango’s courtroom.

Prosecutors showed multiple videos to the jury on Tuesday that showed Smith and his then-fiancé, Roseanne Thompson, 46, repeatedly sexually assaulting and abusing Thompson’s infant granddaughter.

Smith and Thompson were living together in South Charleston around Feb. 19, 2015, when the couple filmed themselves sexually assaulting the infant, according to the criminal complaint. The couple later separated.

Morgan Smith, Smith’s now ex-wife, found the videos in May 2018 when she was cleaning their home. She turned the videos over to police, and Smith and Thompson were later arrested.

In their closing argument Wednesday, prosecutors told the jury the videos themselves were enough to convict Smith on all 20 counts.

“If there’s any doubt to what actually happened to this child ... all you have to do is press play on the video that he made,” assistant prosecutor Adam Petry said. “The video that he made preserving this sexual abuse.”

“At 1-year-old,” assistant prosecutor Debra Rusnak said later, “the very definition of innocence, you watched [the infant] lay there, with her diaper down, her grandmother holding her legs, while [Smith] sexually abused her.”

Smith did not testify during the trial. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 4.

Thompson is charged with the same 20 counts as Smith. Her trial is currently scheduled for March 27.

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