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Hartford Woman Pleads Guilty to Sex Assaults of 2 Children

Lucinda Smith of Hartford talks briefly with her attorney Robert Katims after changing her plea to guilty of aggravated sexual assault at Windsor District Court in White River Junction Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Smith and her husband Steven Smith both plead guilty of engaging in sex with two minors.
(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Lucinda Smith of Hartford talks briefly with her attorney Robert Katims after changing her plea to guilty of aggravated sexual assault at Windsor District Court in White River Junction Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Smith and her husband Steven Smith both plead guilty of engaging in sex with two minors. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

White River Junction — A Hartford woman pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two felony charges of sexual assault of a minor weeks after her husband pleaded guilty to similar allegations.

Lucinda V. Smith, 42, would serve at least 12 years in prison under a plea agreement with prosecutors. A judge still must approve the deal.

On Sept. 20, Smith’s husband, Steven D. Smith, 47, pleaded guilty to aggravated sex assault involving the same victims, who knew the couple.

“The rational is identical to why we entered into a plea agreement with Steven,” Deputy Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill said in an interview Tuesday. “To allow Ms. Smith to take responsibility for what she did to both these children and spare both children from having to testify. And to protect the public from both Lucinda and Steven.”

Lucinda Smith pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Windsor Superior Court to aiding in the commission of a sexual assault of a young teen girl between December 2011 and January 2012, and to participating years earlier in the sexual assault of a boy between the ages of 10 and 13, according to court documents. A third felony charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Prosecutors and defense attorney Robert Katims, of Burlington, agreed to a deal that recommends a sentence of 20 years to life, with all but 12 years suspended.

Katims said during Tuesday’s hearing that he wants to ensure that Smith gets credit for the time she has served since July 2012. He declined to comment after the hearing.

The Smiths’ formal sentencing hearings will be held at a later date, when a judge must sign off on the plea deals agreed to by attorneys.

As part of his plea agreement, Steven Smith would serve no more than 15 years in prison. He will have a “contested” sentencing hearing, meaning that attorneys can argue for any sentence length within the 15-year range. Two felony charges against him were dropped as part of his deal.

According to Hartford Police, the assaults occurred at the Smiths’ Sargent Street home. Authorities began to investigate the couple after being contacted by the state’s Department for Children and Families about the possible assault of the girl.

The Smiths were first charged with sexual assault in July 2012, and additional charges were added in November 2012 after the male victim came forward and spoke to police. As a general practice, the Valley News does not identify victims of sex crimes.

On Tuesday, Lucinda Smith was escorted into the courtroom by two police officers and sat quietly with her hands folded in her lap. She had her long, brown hair pulled back in a ponytail.

She spoke only briefly when Judge Karen Carroll asked her if she had any questions and if she had a chance to speak with her attorney.

Lucinda Smith is being held at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington, Vt. Steven Smith is being held at the Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.