The trial of an alleged child molester is set to begin today at the Greenwood County Courthouse.
According to 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo, a jury will hear the case against 24-year-old Johnathan Scott Smith beginning Tuesday morning. Smith is accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter multiple times between Dec. 2011 and June 2012.
According to a report from the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, Smith’s girlfriend of three years contacted law enforcement authorities on June 27, 2012, after her 7-year-old daughter told her that Smith had been committing sexual acts on the child late at night when everyone was asleep. The mother also said the victim was complaining of pain in her lower private area.
Smith was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in connection with the crime. He was arrested the same day that the crime was reported, though he denied any involvement, according to the incident report.
Stumbo has led a charge to take crimes against children more seriously in the counties of the 8th circuit, which includes Greenwood, Abbeville, Newberry and Laurens, since he took office in January. In the run up to the general election last November, Stumbo said he wanted to take a tougher line with crimes against children and violent offenders. Since January, there have been more trials conducted in the 8th circuit than the previous two years combined.