Plea Deal for Pastor Accused of Sex Crimes
By Lake Sun
April 21, 2016
|Travis Ray Smith|
The outcome of a trial for a pastor accused of sex crimes involving teenagers took a last-minute turn when he pleaded guilty to the charges while the jury was deliberating following a two day trial in Laclede County on a change of venue.
Travis Ray Smith, 45, of California, will spend a total 4 years in prison on concurrent sentences for three different cases. The former pastor of a church in Stover and Pilot Grove, will be required to complete the Missouri sex offenders program wile in prison and register as a sex offender when he is released.
Smith's trial got underway earlier this week in Laclede County. The plea deal was offered the jury had started their deliberations.
It was the second time Smith had been on trial for the same charges. The first proceeding, in December of 2015, was declared a mistrial after questions were raised regarding comments made by a potential juror about the defendant that that potentially tainted the entire jury panel.
The trial was rescheduled and moved to Laclede County. Smith was accused of multiple counts related to child sexual abuse and rape.
In September 2012, Smith was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol on charges of forcible rape, sexual abuse and two counts of statutory rape in the second degree in incidents alleged to have taken place in 1998 and 1999. He was also then charged in Moniteau County Circuit Court with statutory rape in the second degree and statutory sodomy in the second degree related to incidents alleged to have occurred in 2005.
In June 2013, the charge of forcible sodomy for deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion was added to the charges filed against Smith. This incident was alleged to have occurred in 1999.
The allegations came from two different women.
Smith’s 2012 arrest came just one year after being acquitted by a Miller County jury on a charge of child molestation that was filed in Morgan County in 2010.
He was a pastor in Stover and Pilot Grove.