Smith gets 18-72 months for incest

Zachary SMITH

LOCK HAVEN — Zachary T. Smith, now living in Centre County, has been sentenced to serve 18 to 72 months in a state correctional institution.

The sentencing handed down by Clinton County Judge Michael Salisbury last week, was consistent with a plea agreement where Smith pled guilty to incest, a felony of the second degree. Numerous charges of rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child and incest of a minor were dismissed, according to court papers.

The sentence also includes a $1,000 fine and the costs of prosecution. The court noted that the defendant is not an eligible offender for the Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive Program and is entitled to 21 days credit for time spent in custody.

Smith, now 22, was 15 years old when the alleged acts occurred in Clinton County.

He was serving as a Marine at Camp Lejeune, N.C. when the charges were filed in September 2017.

The victim, now 19, was 12 years old at the time of the crime, and testified at the preliminary hearing last year when Smith was bound over for court.

She told the court that she was raped by the defendant 13 times during the spring and summer of 2012, and the incidents occurred in her bedroom, in the living room on the couch, at the boat launch and at her father’s river lot. She said she kept track of the number of times by cutting herself on her body with a razor or other sharp object and has scars from those cuts.

He always used force, she said, putting her arms above her head and taking off her clothes. He never had a weapon and never said anything during the acts, she said. But afterwards she said he told her, “nobody will believe you.” And, she said he threatened to hurt her guinea pig.

At the boat launch in Wayne Township, she said the acts occurred in the water while they were there fishing. “I can’t swim… he grabbed me by my neck and hands,” she said. “He was a lot bigger than me. I was four-feet, 11 inches… he was a lot taller and stronger,” she said.

In 2013, the victim said she moved to South Carolina to live with her mother and she didn’t have any contact with Smith.

“In 2017, I was lashing out at people all the time. My mom suggested I see a therapist. Then she said said I should go to Zach’s graduation and I freaked out. She stopped the car and asked me what was wrong. I told her,” the tearful victim said.

She said she also told a therapist, Children and Youth and state police.

“This happened over five years ago and it was hard for me to go to therapy and remember what happened to me,” she continued. She said she felt violated and very angry.

“I was 12. I didn’t know it was inappropriate. It didn’t feel right, but I didn’t know what was going on,” she said when asked about the first occasion. She said she didn’t realize it was wrong and thought it was normal.

Asked how he treated her at other times, she said he taunted her on the school bus, slapped her with condoms, blew up condoms and made an inappropriate sculpture of a man’s body parts.