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Bowling Green man going to prison for abduction, felony assault

Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm

BOWLING GREEN—A Bowling Green man who allegedly chained a woman to a bed, beat her and knifed her will spend four and a half years in prison.

Lawrence Carlton Smith, 45, was in Caroline Circuit Court on July 31 for incidents that occurred Dec. 1, 2012. Standing before Circuit Judge Patricia Kelly, he pleaded guilty to abduction with intent to defile and felony assault and battery of a family member.

He pleaded guilty to those charges in exchange for the state dropping other charges. The original charges were one count of malicious wounding, two counts of assault and battery of a family member as a third offense, which is a felony charge, two counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of forcible penetration and two counts of abduction with the intent to defile.

The judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison with all but four and a half years suspended. After release from the state penitentiary, he must register as a sex offender.

During the trial, Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Diane Abato presented evidence that included copies of previous domestic assault convictions, pictures of the residence and conditions where the victim was held and the testimony of the victim, who recounted that after being verbally abused by Smith at a hospital where their son was at the time, she had decided that she had had enough abuse. She reached out to a security guard and asked him to “protect” her.

After that, the victim was interviewed by an investigator of the Caroline County Sherriff’s Office. The victim told authorities that because she had been unfaithful to Smith years earlier, Smith told her he would have to punish her.

This punishment, which allegedly went on for six years, included being handcuffed to their bed, which was bolted and chained to the floor, being forced to take medication, being locked in their bedroom and being beaten to the point where she urinated and defecated upon herself. The victim also told authorities that Smith cut her arm with a knife.

The victim told authorities she was afraid to leave Smith  because he had warned her, “If I left, I’d be living under a bridge somewhere, or dead.”

She also said she felt pressure from her children to stay with them.

Abato read the court a victim impact statement. “I just have to live with it,” she said of the abuse she experienced.

After the trial, Abato said, “People need to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence, they can get help.”

Other conditions of his release from prison are that he must have no contact with the victim, be under supervised probation, keep the peace and pay all court costs within one year of his release.