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Mason County man who filmed infant molestation sentenced to life in prison

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Richard Smith

Richard Smith listens to his lawyer talk during his sentencing in court Wednesday.

A Mason County man was sentenced to up to 775 years in prison Wednesday for molesting his then-fiance’s 1-year-old granddaughter in 2015.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango sentenced Richard Smith II, 41, to a minimum of 205 years in prison after a jury found Smith guilty 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.

Each of the first-degree sexual abuse charges carries a sentence of 5 to 25 years; the four sexual assault charges each mandate a sentence of 25 to 100 years, and the five position of trust sexual abuse charges each carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years.

In the early January trial, prosecutors showed the jury multiple videos of 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 molesting 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.

After handing down the sentence, Salango told Smith she felt for the jurors who had to watch the videos he made, saying it “brought grown men to tears.”

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

Members of the victim’s family, who were present at the trial, were not in attendance Wednesday due to a family member’s illness, assistant prosecutor Debra Rusnak said. Rusnak spoke on the family’s behalf, describing Smith as a “monster.”

“The things that he did to that child are the things that nightmares are made of,” Rusnak said.

Smith waived his right to speak before being sentenced. Smith’s counsel, Matthew Victor, noted his client also is facing federal charges related to child sex crimes.

Thompson is charged with the same 20 counts as Smith. Her trial is set to begin in late April.

Reach Joe Severino at joe.severino@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4814 or follow @jj_severino on Twitter.

Funerals for Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Adkins, Ralph - 3 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Dunn, Charles - 1 p.m., streaming live, see obituary.

Hughes, Douglas - 6 p.m., Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Jones, Barbara - 11 a.m., Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville.

Kirk, John - 11 a.m., Holstein Cemetery, Dartmont.

Sims, Virginia - 3 p.m., Home of Linda & Dave, 4772 McLane Pike, Red House Ridge, Red House.

Walker, Pamela - 2 p.m., Asbury United Methodist Church Cemetery, Asbury.