Man sentenced to 30 years for molesting children

BEAUFORT, SC (WCSC) - A 48-year-old Bluffton man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of molesting children more than 8 years ago.

At the conclusion of a two-day trial, Arthur Smith was convicted of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Three children testified that Smith had molested them while they were between six- and eight-years-old.

It was the second time Smith has been convicted of this crime. In 2004, he was convicted of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Smith's conviction was overturned six months later amid allegations that a courtroom spectator had coached a juvenile witness.

The most recent trial was prosecuted by assistant solicitor Jim Bannon. Judge Roger Young handed down the sentence.

"He asked for a new trial and we gave him one," said Solicitor Duffie Stone. "Sometimes the key is persistence. Assistant Solicitor Jim Bannon did a good job prosecuting the case."

By law, Smith must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole hearings.

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