A 48-year-old Bluffton man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of molesting children more than eight years ago, according to a news release from the 14 Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office.
At the end of a two-day trial, Arthur Smith was convicted of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Three children testified that Smith had molested them while they were between six- and eight-years-old, the Solicitor's Office said.
It was the second time Smith has been convicted of such a crime. In 2004, he was convicted of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and sentenced to 20 years in prison. His conviction was overturned six months later amid allegations that a courtroom spectator had coached a juvenile witness, the release said.
Throughout the appeals process, Smith has remained in custody. Judge Roger Young handed down Wednesday's sentence.
By law, Smith must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible a for parole hearing, according to the Solicitor's Office.