A Stone County man is looking at a host of felony counts — including counts involving rape, trafficking, and assault — after officials charged him in Stone County Circuit Court yesterday.
The charges against Norman Smith (pictured), 57, were filed after the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division (CACD) began an investigation upon receiving a call on Aug. 16, 2019, about a minor who was suicidal.
After intensive interviews with four other additional minors, the CACD noted two of the juveniles said Smith sexually abused them and that they also witnessed Smith physically abuse another one of the minors, according to the court documents.
The CACD noted in the affidavit of probable cause for arrest that there was “sufficient credibility” that physical and sexual abuse was committed by the offender, spanning the dates of 2013-2019.
The investigation also revealed the minors performed numerous daily labor duties for Smith and his wife. In a recorded interview with authorities, Smith said he supervised the juveniles, as he is disabled with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and diabetes and cannot physically help. Trafficking involves subjecting minors to involuntary servitude, the court papers note.
Smith also told authorities he is controlling, and if the juveniles did not answer his requests or misbehave, he would punish them by spankings, labor, removal of cellphones, and charging them money from their savings account, according to the court documents. He also told investigators he used a wooden paddle in the past.
In the interview, Smith did not admit sexual abuse, according to the affidavit.
Norman Smith has been taken into custody and placed on a $250,000 bond.
Image via Stone County Sheriff’s Office
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