An Acworth man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison, followed by 60 years on probation, for child molestation spanning more than a decade, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office says.
Lee Gordon Smith, 55, was arrested by Marietta police in February 2017 and has been in custody without bond at the Cobb County jail ever since, totaling more than 1,000 days behind bars, his jail record shows.
Smith pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and possession of pornography, according to a Monday news release from the Cobb DA’s office.
“One victim came to police in February 2017 and detailed abuse that began more than a decade earlier, when the victim was just four years old,” the release states. “Detectives with Cobb Police Department’s Special Victims Unit worked around the clock to ensure the case could be prosecuted within the statute of limitations, which was expiring within two weeks of police getting the case.”
A number of other victims were identified during the investigation, but the window to pursue their cases had passed, the DA’s office said, adding that “since that time, the statute of limitations has been removed for certain crimes against children occurring after July 1, 2012.”
Police said they found over 700,000 pornographic images and videos on some of Smith’s many computer hard drives during their investigation, which involved warranted searches of several locations.
Digital media equipment and devices of Smith’s were seized, also containing pictures and videos of the sexual abuse of known victims that he had recorded himself, the DA’s office said.
“At the sentencing, Cobb Detective Jonathan McFarland, who led the investigation, testified that this case was one of the worst he had ever seen,” the DA’s press release states.
Smith was sentenced by Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard on Nov. 20, the DA’s office said, adding Assistant District Attorney Drew Healy prosecuted the case.
“This defendant’s actions stand out as particularly heinous with the number of vulnerable victims he preyed on,” Healy stated in the DA’s news release. “It took the courage of those victims coming forward and the tireless effort of law enforcement to bring this years-long nightmare to a close.”
Judge Leonard called Smith “a predator of the most dangerous kind” before sentencing him to 100 years, with 40 years to serve in custody, the DA’s office said.
Smith will get credit for time already served.