Fort Wainwright soldier sentenced in sex assault

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fort Wainwright sergeant was sentenced to more than 8 years in prison Wednesday after pleading no contest to charges he sexually assaulted two Fairbanks teens.

The charges against Arron Smith, 29, arose from incidents in February and May in which he offered the teens rides, took them to secluded locations and sexually assaulted them. The victim in the February incident was 13 years old, while the victim attacked in May was 18.

Smith was arrested in June and indicted on two counts of kidnapping, two counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. In September, he pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree sexual assault and one reduced count of second-degree sexual assault, with the rest of the charges being dismissed.

Prosecutor Teresa Foster asked for a sentence of more than 11 years, arguing that Smith had been calm and deliberate in the assaults.

''This was not a nervous, fumbling, bumbling kidnapper and sexual assaulter,'' Foster said.

Foster also said that, unlike most of those who commit sexual assault, Smith had not attempted to seduce either victim but had rather contacted them with the express intent of having sex without their consent.

She also said filings with the court indicated Smith showed no remorse and that he continues to assert the encounters were consensual.

''At this point he's an absolutely unrepentant, unaware, untreated sex offender,'' she said.

Defender Bill Spiers argued for a sentence of eight years to serve, saying that Smith has expressed remorse.

''Mr. Smith is very unhappy about what happened, he has had a hard time dealing with it in his personal life,'' he said.

Spiers also pointed to Smith's lack of a criminal record as well as his accomplishments in life, including his Army job, his wife and children and his athletic prowess. Spiers said Smith had at one time been considered for Olympic 100-yard dash trials.

''Mr. Smith, if he's given the right kind of guidance, can succeed in his life,'' he said.

Superior Court Judge Richard Savell said he had a difficult time understanding how the encounters could be seen as consensual. He sentenced Smith to 12 years with 3 1/2 years suspended. Smith was also given eight years probation and must undergo sex offender treatment while incarcerated and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

A Fort Wainwright spokeswoman said Smith transferred to the post from Fort Riley, Kan., in January 1999 and is a native of Fort Worth, Texas.

U.S. Army Alaska public information officer Maj. Ben Danner said Smith's discharge is currently pending.

Subscribe to Peninsula Clarion

Trending this week:


© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us