By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Smartt charged with child rape
Placeholder Image

A man has been charged with rape for a pattern of abuse that spanned much of the victim’s childhood, a crime reported more than a decade after it first occurred.
The suspect, John David Smartt Jr., 45, of Rock Island is charged with two counts of child rape. He could face half a century behind bars if convicted.
The charges come for incidents which happened as far back as 1999 and continued for several years. The warrants charging the Class A Felony of child rape list the years 1999-2001 and then 2005-2007 as the time the crimes were allegedly committed.
The victim, identified only as a white female to whom Smartt had gained access, came forward with the charges recently.
While the crimes were not reported for many years, Sheriff’s Department investigator Jason Rowland, who has worked many molestation cases, said that is nothing unusual.
“It’s typical for sexual abuse cases like this to go on for many years unreported,” Rowland said.
Whether it is due to shame, fear, or a combination of both, the investigator said many victims are reluctant to come forward as children. He said some victims wait until they are adults before coming forward. Many, he added, will never come forward, deciding to keep the crimes secret.
“At some point they reach a place in their lives where they feel they can come forward and disclose what happened,” Rowland said.
The investigator revealed the statute of limitation for child rape is liberal, giving victims time to come forward long after they are adults.
“The statute says they can come forward for 20 years after their 18th birthday,” Rowland said.
The investigator added Smartt tried to run away when they arrived to execute a search warrant on his home.