Friday, March 26, 2010

Ricky Rex Smith - Repeat Sex Offender - Receives Life in prison

A federal judge sentenced a Missouri man to spend the rest of his life in prison for the production of child pornography, a case with links to Ozark.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montgomery, Ricky Randall Rex Smith, 55, pleaded guilty earlier this year to the charge that he videotaped himself sexually assaulting children. U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins said because Smith had previously been convicted of a state sex offense involving a child, he qualified for a mandatory life sentence.

Smith first came to the attention of law enforcement on New Year’s Eve 2005, after he walked off the job at a construction site in Ozark. Smith apparently left his truck and trailer with all his belongings inside it at a residence in Ozark.

According to the statement, Ozark Police filed a missing persons report on Smith under the name he’d given his employer, only to later find out that the man they were looking for had a 1983 conviction out of Crawford County, Mo., for sodomy of a child under fourteen, and that he had been a fugitive from justice for nearly 18 years.

U.S. prosecutors have said authorities arrested Smith about six months later in 2006. The statement said investigators found evidence of child pornography stashed inside a hidden compartment in Smith’s trailer.
Smith admitted at his plea hearing that he had filmed the sexual abuse of several children in his care, including a three-year-old girl, and that most of the abuse happened in May 2000, in Texas. Smith also confessed to transporting videotapes of the abuse into Dale County sometime in 2005.
“It is a priority in this district to protect children from child predators like Ricky Rex Smith, and we will continue our efforts to seek just punishment for their crime,” U.S. Attorney Leura G. Canary said in a written statement.

Agents with the FBI, the Ozark Police Department, the Dale County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri Probation and Parole Fugitive Unit worked the investigation.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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