Casper Man Gets 45-70 Years for Trying to Turn Girls Into ‘Sex Slaves’
A man who was previously convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in Alaska over 15 years ago is headed to prison again after admitting to committing similar crimes against young girls in Casper.
Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking on Friday sentenced 45-year-old Lenard William Smiley to 45-70 years imprisonment. Smiley pleaded guilty in April to three counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
Public defender Curtis Cheney told the court Friday that Smiley took the plea agreement in order to spare the victims from having to testify at trial.
Wilking said if that's truly the case, it's a claim which rings hollow with the court.
"I don't know why you would spare them from a trial, but not spare them from inflicting sexual abuse on them," Wilking told Smiley before reading his sentence.
Wilking also ordered Smiley to pay $18,010.44 in restitution to Wyoming Medicaid and Victim Services. Smiley shares that financial obligation with his wife, 50-year-old Sonya Sue Smiley, who also pleaded guilty in the case.
She was sentenced to 18-20 years imprisonment last week on one count of accessory before the fact to second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor. She also took a plea deal and saw further charges dismissed.
Court documents said the Smileys met the victims and their families through the Society for Creative Anachronisms -- a group dedicated to re-creating the culture of Europe before the 17th century.
One victim reportedly knew Lenard Smiley was a convicted sex offender, but Smiley would tell people that police in Alaska framed him and the charges were false.
The Smileys gained the trust of the victims and their families, with the victims eventually spending quite a bit of time at the Smileys' home. The victims spent the night and the Smileys started to buy them gifts, such as a laptop.
After some time, the Smileys told the victims that since they were doing all those nice things, the victims needed to do things in return.
The Smileys forced the victims to model lingerie and perform sex acts that were unbearably painful. One such act resulted in one victim passing out and having to be taken to the hospital.
The Smileys also allegedly made the victim wear a type of metal collar commonly used in sadomasochistic sex acts.
Court documents say the victim told police that the Smileys locked her inside their house at one point and would not let her call home.
An investigator writes in the affidavit that the actions were all part of “the grooming process,” which involves a sex offender gaining access to and control over child victims.
Mothers of each of the two victims addressed the court before Lenard Smiley was sentenced Friday.
"I now cannot trust anyone with my children," one woman said. "I can't even trust my own judgement. I don't let my kids out of my sight if at all possible."
"The abuse and degradation my daughter was forced to endure was horrific," the woman continued. At least one victim continues to suffer with anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other emotional problems as a result of the abuse.
The second mother also explained how the Smileys betrayed her trust.
"I trusted Sonya. I did not realize that Sonya was like Lenard," the woman said. "I have to live with the guilt, knowing what they did to my daughter."
A man also went to the podium to read from a letter written by one of the victims.
"When you started doing this stuff to me, you told me it was alright to do," the letter read. "I kept asking to stop because it was hurting me. You two had me keep going, ignoring me."
After the victim passed out, she wrote, the Smileys cleaned her up and made her feel like "a puppet."
"When you took pictures of me and I said 'stop,' you didn't," the victim wrote. "Sonya coached me and you forced me to do everything else."
The victim wrote of the Smileys, "putting a pure titanium collar on me and calling me a dog."
"You tried to brainwash me into thinking my mom would leave me there at your place because my mom didn't want me anymore," the letter continued.
"It's hard to say much beyond that," Assistant District Attorney Brett Johnson said of the victim impact statements, adding that Lenard Smiley demonstrated "astonishing selfishness" in sexually abusing the victims.
"He had these friends. He abused their trust to get to their daughters," Johnson explained. "He knew what he was doing."
"He knew his wife and these girls would never be the same again whether he was caught or not. Fortunately, he was caught," Johnson said.
"Mr. Smiley may not see the light of day again," Johnson continued, adding that if Smiley does live to be released from prison, he would be closely supervised in his remaining days.