An Anna woman has been convicted of sexual assault involving her daughter even though she was never accused of molesting the child.
A Collin County jury found Michelle Lynn Smith, 42, guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault because she allowed her husband to repeatedly abuse the preschool child, said Crystal Levonius, lead prosecutor in the case.
"She knew what he was and what he liked," Levonius said. "She continually gave him access to her."
Each count carries 70 years in prison and will run consecutively. Smith will have to serve 90 years of the 210-year sentence before she will be eligible for parole.
"I don't believe Ms. Smith ever wanted the little girl to be abused," said Thomas D'Amore, Smith's defense attorney. "There was never any evidence presented that she intended or aided it."
Levonius disagreed, saying that Smith knew Glen Bracy was a registered sex offender when she met him and was warned by a therapist not to marry him.
Smith ignored the warning and married Bracy on Jan, 26, 2002.
At the time, Bracy already had two prior convictions for child molestation. In California, he was found guilty of molesting a deaf and mute child, Levonius said.
In 1995, he was convicted in Collin County of indecency with a child by sexual contact and sentenced to five years in prison. He was on parole for that conviction when he met Smith. Their daughter was born in 2002, the same year they married.
Levonius said the family would sleep together naked, and that Bracy began molesting his daughter before her second birthday.
The child reported the abuse in 2007, when she was 4 years old. She told officials that "Michelle" would watch as the sexual abuse took place, court documents show.
When he was arrested, Bracy confessed to sexually abusing his daughter "up to 50 times." Bracy, now 42, is serving five life sentences for aggravated sexual assault.
Levonius thinks Smith's conviction on the same charges sets a precedent for Collin County and sends a message to other mothers who allow their children to be sexually abused.
"You're going to be held accountable if you help sex offenders get access to your child," she said.
Levonius said the girl is now in a much happier place.
Five weeks after being placed in foster care, the child "initially denied having a family other than her foster family," court records show.
The child, who is now 7, has been adopted.
"Although she grew in Michelle Smith's womb, she's grown in the heart of her new mother," Levonius said. "She's with a family that loves her and protects her."
She also calls the child a hero for reporting the abuse. At the time, Michelle Smith had given birth to a second daughter, who was 4 months old when both children were removed from the home.
"By speaking out, she was able to protect her younger sister," Levonius said. "She's a hero because I have no doubt that the 4-month-old would have been in store for the same life."