WILLITS — To the relief of many people packed into the courtroom on Tuesday, a former charter school teacher was sentenced to county jail rather than state prison for his sexual relationship with a student.
Most of 40 people in the Willits courtroom were there to support Clinton Douglas Smith, 38, who had pleaded guilty in April to having sex with a 15-year-old Willits Charter School student.
“He’s a wonderful guy,” said Yvonne Winter.
The supporters also included Smith’s family, teachers, and former students, including his victim, now 16.
During a private meeting toward the end of the four-hour sentencing hearing, the girl told Judge Clay Brennan that Smith was a good person and she did not want him to go to prison, her mother said.
Smith had faced a maximum four-year prison sentence following his guilty plea to having unlawful sex with a minor under the age of 16.
Brennan sentenced Smith on Tuesday to six months in the county jail and 36 months probation. He also ordered a four-year suspended prison sentence that could be imposed if Smith violates the terms of his probation. Brennan delayed deciding whether to require Brennan to register as a sex offender until the end of his probation.
During the sentencing hearing, a forensic psychologist testified that he is unlikely to re-offend.
“I determined he was not a pedophile and he was not predatory,” said Ukiah psychologist Kevin Kelly.
Smith became sexually involved with his student because he lacked the ability to set adequate boundaries and was somewhat naive and co-dependent, the psychologist said.
The weaknesses in Smith’s personality, combined with the personality of the teenager resulted in “a grievous mistake,” Kelly said.
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A mother claims that Willits Unified School District did nothing to stop a charter school teacher from sexually abusing her 15-year-old daughter, and invaded the girl's privacy disclosing "intimate facts" about the sexual misconduct in "a public announcement to the entire student body."
In her federal complaint, Jane Doe adds that teachers at the Willits Charter School have ostracized her since she objected to the teacher's fondling her daughter's butt at a teachers' party.
Doe says the school district did not discipline Clint Smith, 38, though he engaged in oral sex and intercourse with her daughter for almost a year.
Doe says the molestation began with kissing and fondling, but escalated when Smith had oral sex with her daughter during a Willits Charter School camping trip to Yosemite National Park in June 2008...
Two students also saw the butt-grabbing and reported it to another parent, who reported it to a Willits Charter School board member, Doe says. She says the board member told her that principal Sally Rulison was "handling it."..
The mom says that principal Rulison learned about the sexual relationship in early December 2008, but "took no measures to prevent any physical contact or emotional entanglement between Smith and [her daughter] after either the June 2008 or December 2008 reports of Smith's inappropriate conduct."
She claims that Rulison asked that the girl not attend school for a day and in her absence "made a public announcement to the entire student body, disclosing intimate facts" about Smith's relationship with the girl, "including details of the sexual misconduct."
The girl and her mother seek general and punitive damages for civil rights violations, denial of equal protection, negligent hiring and invasion of privacy. They named as defendants Willits Unified School District, Willits Charter School, Rulison and Smith...