Priest Pleads Guilty in Sex Abuse of Boy, 12
December 4, 2004
The only Catholic priest to be charged with sexually abusing a child in South Florida pleaded guilty Friday to fondling a 12-year-old boy while he was visiting his grandmother at a nursing home.
The Rev. Trevor Smith, who served in the Archdiocese of Miami for 40 years, faces no jail time but had to apologize to the victim, now 16, and his mother, as part of his plea agreement.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola sentenced Smith, 67, to two years of house arrest in Miami. That will be followed by eight years' probation.
Smith, now retired, also must pay a $1,000 fine, continue his therapy with a psychologist and have no contact with minors.
"Today is about acceptance of personal responsibility," Smith said in a prepared statement. "By my plea, I have publicly acknowledged my wrongdoing.
"I have communicated my contrition and remorse to the young man and his family in a private fashion."
The victim's mother, who had reached a $500,000 civil court settlement with the archdiocese last year, said in a statement that the family accepted his apology and the plea agreement.
"We can now move on and pray to God to forgive Trevor Smith's sins," said the mother, who did not want to be identified. "My son hopes that his experience will help others in the same position not to be afraid and to tell when someone has abused them."
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