Jury finds Centralia man guilty on all counts in his child sex offense case

Jury finds Centralia man guilty on all counts in his child sex offense case

SALEM, IL — After just one-and-a-half hours of deliberation Thursday, a Marion County jury found a 27-year-old Centralia man guilty on all counts in his 2021 child sex offense case. Thomas M. Smith was found guilty of two Class X felony charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a 6-year-old child and Class 2 felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13.

Jurors heard testimony in the three-day trial from the victim and her dad. Smith declined to testify on his own behalf Wednesday and the case was handed to the jury for deliberation at 10 a.m. Thursday. Guilty verdicts on all three counts were returned at 11:30 a.m., with Judge Mark Stedelin revoking any bond options for the defendant who was a registered sexual predator at the time of his June 2021 arrest in the case. Smith will remain in the Marion County Jail to await sentencing that is scheduled for February 18th.

Class X felonies are punishable by between 6 and 60 years in prison.