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Did Donald Smith fall through the cracks of the justice system?

11:12 PM, Jun 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Donald Smith has been cycling in and out of prison for the last three decades.

Critics have said Smith fell through the cracks of the legal system, but a former prosecutor Tom Treece said that's not the case.

Instead, Treece said, Smith allegedly graduated to more violent crimes.

Smith's sex crime wrap sheet starts in 1977, when he was convicted of indecent assault on a child under the age of 16.

In 1992 Smith was charged with attempted kidnapping and showing obscene images to a minor.

In 1998 he plead guilty to Lewd and Lascivious behavior and in 1999 the state flagged Smith as likely to reoffend. 

The Department of Children and Families Sexually Violent Predator Program recommended him for civil commitment.

"The formal criteria is the formal definition of a sexual predator and that's someone who has at least one sex offense and have a mental abnormality or personal disorder that makes them likely to engage in acts of sexual violence," said Dan Montaldi, Administrator for DCF's Sexually Violent Predator Program.

Following the recommendation, the state attorney has to file a petition and then take the case to trial, but Dan Montaldi said that never happened and Smith was later released in 2002.

Then in 2009 Smith was charged with the unlawful impersonation of a public employee. In that incident he made explicit phone calls to a young girl while impersonating a DCF officer.

"He asked her if she wore a bra and told her if she told anyone he would have her mother arrested, so she was hysterical," said the mother of the victim in the 2009 case, Stephanie Boggs, four years ago.

Court documents show Smith was then sentenced in February of 2012 to one year in jail and released on May 31st.

"It sounded like the last thing he was involved in he was on the way to doing something that could have been horrendous but it was nipped in the bud," Tom Treece said. 

First Coast News

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