Acworth man sentenced to 100 years for child molestation

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the background

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced that an Acworth man was sentenced on November 20 to 100 years for child molestation, with 40 of those years to be served in custody.

Lee Gordon Smith, now 55, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child molestation, aggravated child molestation, and possession of child pornography.

In February, one of his victims approach police and gave an account of molestation at Smith’s hands that spanned more than a decade, beginning when the victim was four years old.

According to the press release, “Detectives with Cobb Police Department’s Special Victims Unit worked around the clock to ensure the case could be prosecuted within the statute of limitations, which was expiring within two weeks of police getting the case.”

Other victims were identified in the course of the investigation, but the statute of limitations had run out.

The announcement from the DA’s office states that since that time the statute of limitations has been removed for certain crimes against children that took place after July 1, 2012.

After getting a search warrant and seizing Smith’s digital devices, more than 700,000 images and videos of child pornography were discovered by investigators. The devices also held photos and videos of sexual abuse of victims that the defendant recorded.

Cobb County Police Detective Jonathan McFarland, who led the investigation, testified that this was one of the worst cases he had ever seen.

“This defendant’s actions stand out as particularly heinous with the number of vulnerable victims he preyed on,” Assistant District Attorney Drew Healy, who prosecuted the case, said. “It took the courage of those victims coming forward and the tireless effort of law enforcement to bring this years-long nightmare to a close.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard called Smith “a predator of the most dangerous kind” and sentenced him to 100 years, with 40 years to serve in custody and the balance on probation.

Smith has been in custody since his arrest in February of 2017 and will get credit for time served.