Man gets probation for trying to lure child

URBANA — An Urbana man who admitted trying to lure a child into his vehicle in August has been sentenced to probation.

Ricky Allen Smith, 53, whose last known address was in the 1200 block of West Eureka Street, pleaded guilty Thursday to child abduction, a Class 4 felony.

Smith was arrested on Aug. 2 shortly after he tried to get a 12-year-old girl into his vehicle by offering her $20.

Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber said the girl was walking near Hickory and Bellefontaine streets in north Champaign about 3:30 p.m. when a man in a sport utility vehicle drove by and motioned for her to come to his vehicle. She kept walking, but he followed her slowly and even pulled in her driveway on Hickory Street. As she was walking, he displayed $20 and said something to her in an attempt to get her in the vehicle.

She went in her home and told her mother what happened, Weber said.

The mother called police immediately and was able, with the help of a teenage neighbor boy, to give police a license plate number. Police located Smith alone in his vehicle and arrested him.

As part of his sentence to 30 months of probation, Smith will not be allowed to have contact with any minor under the age of 17 without supervision.

The offense of child abduction includes attempting abduction.

Weber asked that Smith, who had an almost 20-year-old sex-related conviction, be ordered to register again as a sex offender. He had complied with the sex offender registration act as a result of his 1993 conviction and no longer had to be registered.

Judge Tom Difanis, who took the plea, ordered a sex offender evaluation and set another hearing for Dec. 10. At that time, he'll decide if Smith will have to register again.

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just_wondering wrote on October 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Well, that'll teach him. I'm sure he'll never do it again. (sarcasm font needed)

Nickemry wrote on October 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Seriously???!!!!!  Probation for a convicted sex offender who tries to lure a child into his vehicle?  This is exactly why there are so many children who are abducted and murdered and then come to find out they had a slew of prior convictions because no one was willing to prosecute them.  Such a complete miscarriage of justice.

Dun.Du..dunn.dun..duunnnn wrote on October 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

In May the  Illinois Attorney General Madigan put a proposal into strengthen penalties for child luring and abduction. The measure passed the General Assembly in May.  Quinn's spokeswoman said "the bill is under review, but the governor is certainly interested in legislation that strengthens crime prevention".  So it looks like the only hold up is Quinn. We shouldn't be shocked though because this is the man shutting down our prisons and mental facilities which will probably lead to alot more of these criminals being put right back out on the street.  Besides I thought a class 4 felony got you 1-3 yrs, hmm.

nanrz wrote on October 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Pathetic, no wonder sexual child abuse is so rapant in our society. There is no punishment for it. If he had been successful we would be looking for a missing child or dealing with an injured child. I don't think such a pervert should be allowed in probation. He is a danger to society. Sad day in Champaign Urbana.

wilsona wrote on October 13, 2012 at 8:10 am

There, actually, is a punishment for this crime.  The problem is our states attorney often seems to not have any interest in apply those punishments here in our county.  I'm curious how Julia Reitz would feel if it was one of her daughters that was being lured into a vehicle. Maybe the guy didn't want to rape or kill this young lady.  I'm sure he just wanted to chit chat with her and buy her some ice cream.

renee1234 wrote on October 13, 2012 at 9:10 am

This is disgusting on so many levels...you would think the sentencing would be obvious.  I have no clue how the people processing this case sleep at night.