Attorney for accused molester Chad Smith proposes plea deal

Third trial looms after 2 previous mistrials

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A former restaurant owner and substitute teacher who has already endured two mistrials over charges of the sexual abuse of two minor girls was in court Wednesday morning.

Smith

Chad Alan Smith, 44, has been charged with 16 counts relating to the sexual abuse of two girls, one of whom he is accused of continuously molesting from the age of 10. Specifically, he is charged with 12 counts related to the sexual abuse of the minors including sexual intercourse, sodomy and oral copulation and another four counts related to the violation of restraining orders.

On Wednesday morning Smith’s attorney, Andrea Sullivan, told Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Killoran that she has reached out to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office with a possible resolution.

“Your honor, I have sent the people an offer,” Smith said to Killoran as the hearing began. “I’m hopeful we can have a resolution in this case.”

That resolution did not take place Wednesday, however, because the prosecutor assigned to the case has been out of office and only just received the proposed plea deal.

“I did not have the opportunity to read it,” Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads told Killoran. “I don’t expect it will resolve this case at this juncture. I need to consult with the families.”

Smith has already stood trial twice — both times a mistrial was declared. The first trial in February 2018 was halted because new information related to the case had been uncovered. More recently, in May, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Smith will be back in court on Sept. 12 for a pre-trial conference and Sullivan said she will continue to work on a plea agreement in the meantime.

“I’m hopeful we can reach a resolution in this case,” Sullivan said following the hearing. “I’d like to see a resolution that works for all parties involved.”

Smith appeared in court in custody wearing jail-issued clothing and he is being held on $2.65 million bail. Smith remains in custody where he has been since 2017.

Dan Squier can be reached at 707-441-0528.

 

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