Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for raping and impregnating "especially vulnerable" 11-year-old
28-year-old Billy Joe Smith will be placed on post-prison supervision for life, made to register as a sex offender, and ordered to have no contact with minors after his release
An Oregon man who pleaded guilty to impregnating an 11-year-old girl has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Twenty eight-year-old Billy Joe Smith pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in Klamath County on February 28, and was jailed for a quarter century by a judge on the same day.
According to The Herald and News of Klamath Falls, Smith raped the girl in November 2017. He was arrested by the authorities in March 2018 after the victim came forward when she was 18 weeks pregnant and claimed the 28-year-old was the father, with a DNA test proving the claim.
Smith was subsequently charged with two counts of first-degree rape and one count each of first-degree sex abuse and incest the same month, though he tried to escape prosecution by fleeing the state and going to California.
However, he was apprehended and arrested in Nevada a month later in April 2018, and extradited to Klamath County to face his charges. He was held on a $1 million bail, with his public defender, Sammy Sanchez, arguing during a bail reduction hearing that the amount was "unconstitutionally high."
Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello countered Sanchez and pointed out how the 28-year-old had fled to Nevada.
Judge Andrea Janney sided with the prosecution and said the current bail amount was appropriate because the victim was "especially vulnerable" and that she believed there was no amount Smith could post that would ensure he shows up for his trial.
His trial eventually began in June 2018, ending with his guilty plea. As he pleaded guilty to first-degree rape, the other two charges of first-degree sex abuse and incest were dropped, with Costello stating they were "all different theories for the same act thus merging for sentencing purposes."
Because first-degree rape is a Class A felony in Oregon, Costello said Smith would not be eligible for an early release. She also said the 28-year-old would be placed on post-prison supervision for life, made to register as a sex offender, and ordered to have no contact with minors.
The Herald and News reported that Smith is also wanted in the state of Wisconsin on outstanding charges of forgery, battery of a firefighter or commission ward, and resisting arrest.
He has denied being a fugitive from justice and is scheduled to have a Klamath County hearing for this matter on March 18 in front of Judge Janney.