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Trial of W.Va. man charged in sexual assault of pastor's son scheduled to begin

April 10, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Ronald Dewayne Smith
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The trial for a 56-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a pastor’s son is set to begin today in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Ronald Dewayne Smith, who was previously convicted in 1995 of sexually abusing a Jefferson County boy in the mid-1970s, now faces allegations that he assaulted a preteen boy in 2002.

Smith was indicted in May 2011 on two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual assault third degree in the most recent case.

The latest sexual allegations surfaced in December 2010, after the victim and his family moved out of the Martinsburg area, according to court records.

In a pre-trial hearing Monday, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes ruled that the jury could hear testimony concerning the older Jefferson County case, according to Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones.

Wilkes heard testimony Monday from the victim in the Jefferson County case Monday. The victim in that case, now 45, testified that Smith, who he knew as “Tim”, engaged in sexual acts with him when he was a young boy growing up in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Smith pleaded no contest to sexual assault charge in 1995.

The victim testified Monday that he didn’t tell anyone what happened until 1992 when he filled out an application for Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Ohio, where he had been stationed with the U.S. Air Force at the time.

After returning to Shepherdstown that same year, the victim said he notified Jefferson County Schools of the defendant’s sexual contact with him because Smith was employed as a teacher there in the school system. 

The victim said he blocked the sexual contact with Smith out of his mind after it happened.

“I denied it to myself, the trauma that (was) inflicted upon me,” he said.

The victim in the 2002 case told West Virginia State Police Trooper F.H. Edwards that he met Smith at a church camp in Pennsylvania while his father was pastor of a church in Berkeley County, according to court records.

The victim told Edwards he also knew Smith as “Tim” and the boy’s father separately told police that he was aware the defendant was a sex offender and was trying to help him at the time, according to court documents.

Smith, who is incarcerated in Eastern Regional Jail, was living in Chicago prior to his arrest on the 2002 allegations.

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