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.
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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.