She didn't physically assault anyone or steal anything, but a North Texas woman was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison. It's a record-setting punishment for the Collin County mother who calls the ruling 'a miscarriage of justice.' But prosecutors say Michelle Smith deserves every minute of her sentence.
"I was stunned, would be the least of my reaction," Smith said. "It was pretty much a travesty of justice."
The sentence still hasn't sunk in, but Michelle Smith is serving her first day of a 210-year sentence. The punishment was handed down by a Collin County jury and judge.
Smith was convicted of aggravated sexual assault. "It's saying someone who has never been in trouble, somebody who has not even paid a traffic ticket, isn't worth something
," the 42-year-old mother claimed.
Prosecutors say over a two-year period Smith did nothing to stop her husband, Glen Bracy, from sexually abusing her 4-year-old daughter.
When asked if she should have known about the abuse, Smith said, "Yes, I should have." When asked how she couldn't have known, Smith said, "At no point was there ever a sign of trauma."
But there were signs Bracy was a pedophile. He was a convicted sex offender when he met Smith. Responding to her choice to become involved with Bracy, Smith said, "Honestly, I was being stupid."
While Smith says she is guilty of bad judgment, she feels the life sentence is unfair. "I didn't expect the 210 years, though. I think 10, even 20 would have been fair."
Prosecutors didn't feel the same way. They sought and obtained a record-breaking sentence. The punishment was for a crime that prosecutors say Smith not only tolerated, but witnessed.
"Her mother asked them to be quiet, because she was making too much noise.
So, I mean, just horrible things just happened to this child," explained Collin County Prosecutor Crystal Levonius. "Over a long period she sexualized the child by allowing the child to walk around the home naked."