Justice was served by a judge in Houston, Texas, last week.
A man who stood accused of sexually assaulting five girls under the age of sixteen has been sentenced to no less than 615 years behind bars.
The man who will now be serving those six centuries is 35-year-old Raven Smith.
Smith was being tried in a Houston County Circuit court for multiple counts of rape, sodomy, and molestation. His victims were all young females less than 16 years of age.
According to reports, Smith, a resident of Cottonwood, Alabama, saved the prosecution some trouble by simply admitting to his crimes. Smith also, likely in a last-ditch attempt to be granted some leniency, apologized to the girls’ families.
But, Houston County Circuit Judge Todd Derrick was having none of it. Derrick hit Smith with the maximum possible sentence of 615 years in prison.
Central to the judge’s decision appears to be an impactful plea that was given by one of the victim’s mothers. The woman’s name is being kept confidential by news outlets in order to protect the identities of the victims. During her statement, not only did she fight back her emotions, but she even choked-up the prosecution.
“When you deal with cases that involve children, particularly young children, it’s going to hit your heartstrings every time,” said assistant Houston County District Attorney J.T. Jones. “You get to know them and you feel the pain they go through.”
After Judge Derrick handed down the sentence, explaining the reasons for his decision, the mother described how shocked she was that her plea meant that much to the judge.
“I can’t believe what I said meant that much to a judge to punish this man the way I wanted him to be [punished],” she said.
The mother explained that part of the reason she decided to speak up was for those victims who, perhaps, are too fearful to come forward. She wanted to make sure that Smith was permanently behind bars so that others no longer have to live in fear.
She definitely did just that. 615 years is a life sentence if there ever was one.