Jury hands Melissa child molester 30 years' prison without parole

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James Dalton Smith, 55, of Melissa, was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

In September 2009, Smith began sexually abusing a 9-year-old child who was known to him. That abuse continued until the child reached the age of 13. The child ultimately disclosed the sexual abuse to her older sister who immediately contacted the Melissa Police Department.

Melissa Police requested help from the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, and Collin County Child Abuse Task Force Investigator Gerald Burk investigated. The child disclosed specific details of the sexual abuse during her forensic interview with Eli Molina of the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County. 

The jury returned a guilty verdict for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and two counts of Indecency with a Child by Contact. The jury then sentenced him to 30 years in prison for Continuous Sexual Abuse. The jury also sentenced Smith to 4 years in prison on each of the two Indecency counts. The sentences will run concurrently.  Smith will not be eligible for parole. 

Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Miller and Geeta Singletary prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Greg Bowers.