News Staff Report
An East Brewton man, charged more than two years ago with sexually abusing two children, was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison after he entered a guilty plea to sexually abusing those children and at least two others.
William Douglas Smith, 58, faced life in prison but the plea reduced dramatically the amount of time he will actually spend behind bars. Smith lived in Brewton at the time of his 2017 arrest but moved to East Brewton when his wife divorced him over the charges.
The admitted child predator was scheduled to go on trial June 19 to face the original charges of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. A jury had already been struck when Smith accepted the offer from District Attorney Steve Billy’s office.
The agreement also required that Smith admit guilt to one count of first-degree sodomy of a child, one count of second-degree sodomy of a child and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes.
The 20-year sentence was punishment for four of the crimes, while Judge Jeff White also sentenced Smith to 17.5 years on one of the enticement charges. That sentence is to run concurrently with the 20-year term.
According to court documents, investigations are reportedly ongoing into Smith’s possible abuse of children in at least two other jurisdictions, including Santa Rosa County in Florida.