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Man pleads guilty to charges of sexual abuse of infant girl.

Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard

A Eugene man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that he had deviate sexual intercourse with an infant girl, took photos of the activity and disseminated the images over the Internet to a child porn ring.

Robert Earl Smith, 53, is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 21 in Lane County Circuit Court, where a judge will decide on a prison term ranging from less than six years to more than 132 years under terms of a plea deal Smith signed Tuesday.

In the deal, he pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of first-degree sodomy and a dozen counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct - all Measure 11 crimes carrying mandatory sentences.

He also pleaded guilty to 21 counts of encouraging child sexual abuse by disseminating photos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Most of those charges involved photos of the 10-month-old infant girl, although nine of the charges involved unknown children.

Six other charges involving a second victim younger than age 6 were dropped in the plea deal, according to court records.

Smith, wearing green jail clothes, stood for more than a half-hour while Lane County Circuit Judge Karsten Rasmussen reviewed the charges, asked Smith if he understood the charges, and asked Smith for his plea.

Forty-two times Smith replied, "Yes sir. Guilty."

Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Mortimore has called the case one of the worst he's seen.

In a search warrant affidavit, investigators explained that the investigation began when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children called police in Knoxville, Tenn., in July 2003, to report an Internet child pornography ring.

A Knoxville detective joined the group and corresponded with "naughtygrampa," a screen name traced to Smith's home in Eugene.

With a search warrant, police found digital photos taken in Smith's bedroom of him having sex with an infant girl, according to the court file. The photos also show a second child victim.

Smith was arrested in December but police kept quiet about the case until June while the FBI investigated related cases.
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Title Annotation:Courts; Robert Earl Smith is also guilty of putting child porn photos on the Internet
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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