CENTRALIA MAN SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS FOR CHILD SEX ASSAULT

CENTRALIA MAN SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS FOR CHILD SEX ASSAULT

MARION COUNTY, IL — A 27-year-old Centralia man was sentenced Tuesday in Marion County Court to 50-years in prison after a jury in January found him guilty of child sex offenses. It took a Marion County jury less than 2 hours to convict Thomas M. Smith guilty on all counts in his 2021 child sex offense case.

On Tuesday, Smith was sentenced to 25-years on each Class X felony conviction for predatory criminal sexual assault of a 6-year-old child to be served consecutively and seven years on the Class 2 felony conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13. The seven-year sentence will be served concurrently to the sentence on Count 1. While Smith declined to testify on his own behalf during the jury trial, he did offer a statement of allocution Tuesday before sentencing. Judge Mark Stedelin heard arguments from both prosecution and defense Tuesday before denying a defense motion a new trial in the case. The court then proceeded to hand down the 50 year prison sentence.

Smith was already a registered sexual predator at the time of his arrest in this case. It appears the initial crime and conviction that landed Smith on the Registry occurred when he was 21 in Clinton County and his victim was 14. He has since been convicted in 2015 of possessing child pornography on his computer and violating the sex offender registration then in 2017, he was convicted of child sex offender loitering and child sex offender communicating on the internet – all in Clinton County. He was then convicted in 2020 in Clinton County of violating the sex offender registration.

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