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Nevada Pastor Accepts Plea Deal in Sexual Assault Case


Pastor Bobby Smith and his wife LaShawn lead New Beginnings Ministries in Las Vegas, Nevada. |
Pastor Bobby Smith and his wife LaShawn lead New Beginnings Ministries in Las Vegas, Nevada. |

Pastor Bobby Cornealius Smith, 46, the leader of New Beginnings Ministries Church of God in Christ in Las Vegas, accepted an Alford plea in a case involving multiple charges of sexual assault and child abuse of a family member and two women he referred to as his "God daughters." The plea deal allows him to avoid a criminal conviction while formally admitting guilt for the charges.

Smith acknowledged that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to convict him if the case had gone to trial. As part of the plea deal, he will be sentenced on one count of misdemeanor conspiracy to commit a crime and one count of misdemeanor gross lewdness. Additionally, he must complete probation and surrender all electronic devices and equipment seized during the investigation. Once probation is completed, the charges against him will be dismissed.


 

The charges against Smith and his wife, Lashawn Nicole Smith, stemmed from allegations made by three women, including a family member, who accused the pastor and his wife of taking advantage of them when they were teenagers. The victims detailed disturbing incidents, including Pastor Smith pressuring his family member to use sex toys, making sexual advances towards a church member, and engaging in inappropriate behavior with a third woman.

Despite the seriousness of the allegations, Pastor Smith expressed his innocence towards the charges while accepting the plea deal, emphasizing that he was trying to help the individuals involved. The case serves as a reminder of the complexities and challenges within the ministry and the importance of addressing issues of abuse and misconduct.

This case sheds light on the need for accountability and justice in cases of sexual assault and abuse within communities, highlighting the significance of supporting victims and ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for their actions.

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