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Sarasota Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Sexual Battery of a Child
A Sarasota man is sentenced to life in prison for committing sexual battery of a child in 2021.
A jury convicted John Martin Smith, 48, of Capital Sexual Battery upon a Child Less than 12 Years of Age. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Krug presided over the four-day trial, which took place from April 3rd to April 6th at the Sarasota County Courthouse. Smith committed the offense upon a 7-year-old family member on his sailboat in Sarasota Bay in the summer of 2021.
On July 2, 2021, Sarasota Police detectives began investigating an allegation of sexual battery committed against P.C. a 7-year-old female. P.C. disclosed she was sexually abused by her stepfather, John Martin Smith. With the assistance of the Child Protection Center and the Department of Children and Families Services, the suspect, Smith, was forbidden from having contact with his stepdaughter (C.P.) and her brother (R.C.), who was 9 years old at the time.
After several days, detectives located a second female victim (A.K., age 29) who lived out of state. A.K., who is now 30 years of age, revealed that she, too, was sexually abused by Smith when she was under the age of 12, while he was married to her biological mother.
On July 21, 2021, Detective Llovio and Cox arrested John Martin Smith for the sexual battery of a victim (C.P.) under the age of 12.
During the trial, the victim, (P.C.), who is now 9 years old, took the stand to testify as did his first known victim, A.K., who has not seen the defendant since she was 16 years old. On Thursday, April 6, 2023, the jury found John Martin Smith guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison. Smith was prosecuted by State Attorney Ryan Felix.
ORIGINAL RELEASE (7/22/21): John M. Smith, 47, of Sarasota, has been arrested and is facing charges of sexual battery on a victim under 12 by an offender over 18. Smith is being held in the Sarasota County Jail. Detectives believe there may be additional victims and are asking them to call Detective Maria Llovio.
In June 2021, the victim, a 7-year-old girl, stayed on a sailboat with Smith. When the child returned home, she told her father that Smith touched her inappropriately. The victim and Smith do know one another. In July 2021, Sarasota Police detectives worked with the Child Protection Center to continue their investigation.
On July 21, 2021, Smith’s ex-wife told Sarasota Police detectives when she was married to Smith, her daughter disclosed that Smith touched her inappropriately in 2008. Detectives learned it began at the age of three.
Smith was arrested on July 21, 2021, in a parking lot on Bayfront Drive, Sarasota. He was transported to the Sarasota County Jail without incident. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Maria Llovio at 941-263-6836 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com Booking photos can be found on the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office website at https://www.sarasotasheriff.org/arrest-reports/index.php