A 41-year-old Gering man convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl on multiple occasions in the spring of 2019 has been sentenced to 40 to 60 years in prison.
Joseph “Joby” Smith was sentenced to consecutive 20 to 30 year prison terms on both of his convictions of Forcible 1st Degree Sexual Assault. District Judge Leo Dobrovolny handed down the sentence Friday afternoon after Smith pleaded guilty to the charges in November.
Smith was arrested in July following a criminal investigation that stemmed from the 16-year-old’s forensic interview at CAPstone. The girl says Smith began the unwanted sexual advances in April.
She says the first instance began with him putting his hand on her thigh; as the weeks and months progressed, the nature of the sexual assaults heightened.
When Gering Police interviewed Smith he denied all allegations, but towards the end of the 90 minute interview, he admitted everything.
Smith will not be eligible for parole until at least 2040 if he doesn’t lose any good time. As terms of the sentencing, he will also have to register as a sex offender, and will be subject to lifetime post release supervision.