DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A Cottonwood man who admitted he raped, sodomized and sexually abused young children has been sentenced to serve 615 years for those crimes.
Raven Smith, 35, apologized to the families of the five victims - all girls under the age of 16 who he molested over a period of several years.
Houston County Circuit Judge Todd Derrick gave Smith the maximum sentence after hearing a powerful plea from the mother of one of the victims.
“I can’t believe what I said meant that much to a judge to punish this man the way I wanted him to be (punished)," the mother said.
We are not identifying the mother to protect her daughter’s privacy.
Not only did the mother become emotional in court, so did the prosecutor. Assistant Houston County District Attorney J.T. Jones neared tears while describing the crimes to the judge.
“When you deal with cases that involve children, particularly young children, it’s going to hit your heart strings every time. You get to know them and you feel the pain they go through,” Jones said.
While these cases are over, the mother who spoke to WTVY-TV believes there are other victims who have been too terrified to come forward.
“I don't want them to be afraid anymore. I want them to know he's in jail and can't ever hurt them or anyone else,” she said.
Because of the way Derrick structured the sentences, it is improbable that Smith will ever be paroled.