Former Shelby County resident gets 20-years in prison for abusing a child


January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A judge in Pottawattamie County sentenced a former Shelby County resident to 20-years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year old boy in a Council Bluffs hotel room, following a camping trip to Lake Anita.  The incident happened 14-years ago. According to the Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil, Judge Greg Steensland found 68-year old Bobby E. Smith, of El Dorado Springs, Mo., guilty on three counts of felony third-degree sex abuse, and one count of indecent contact with a child.

Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Dan McGinn said Smith met the boy through First Baptist Church in Harlan, where Smith was a volunteer. The paper says after the boy was unable to come on a church-sponsored fishing trip, Smith offered to take the youth on a separate, non-church-sponsored fishing trip. Together, they went to Lake Anita, and afterward traveled to Council Bluffs. Smith reportedly Smith fondled the victim while enroute to the city, and in a Council Bluffs hotel, where the pair had stayed.

Smith waived his rights to a jury trial. Arguments in his case were heard by the judge in November.Prosecutors had asked for a 32 year sentence – 10 years for each sex abuse count and two for indecent conduct, but both they and the victim said they were happy with the judge’s decision. Smith will be eligible for parole each year of his sentence, and if there’s no trouble while in prison, could be released after a little more than nine-years.

The newspaper says according to the Shelby County Attorney’s Office, Smith moved to Harlan in 1983 and lived there at the time of the alleged assault. He moved to Missouri in 2008. The man has reportedly admitted to abusing other victims since he himself was a child, but no other victims have come forward.