Former church pastor convicted of raping, molesting six underage victims

Former church pastor convicted of raping, molesting six underage victims
Sherman Smith, 58, pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving six underage victims.

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A former Marrero church pastor was convicted Monday of raping and molesting several underage girls approximately two decades ago, according to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office.

Sherman R. Smith, 58, agreed to serve 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a host of sex crimes involving six underage victims. The agreement was approved by Smith's victims and Criminal District Judge Karen Herman, who will impose the sentence after victim-impact statements on July 17.

Smith, the former pastor of Marrero's Second Highway Baptist Church, had faced a potential life sentence if convicted of first-degree rape.

Under terms of the agreement, Smith instead pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree rape.

The Algiers man also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated incest, two counts of sexual battery and five counts of indecent behavior with juveniles younger than 13. His sentences will be ordered to run concurrently.

Smith committed the crimes between 1992-2000.

Smith was arrested in November 2015, after one of his victims reported to New Orleans police the sexual abuse committed against her more than a decade earlier when she was 5. Other victims soon came forward to report similar abuse inside Smith's residence in the 400 block of Park Street.