Mistrial for Stover pastor accused of sex crimes

1 year 6 months 2 weeks ago December 07, 2015 Dec 7, 2015 Monday, December 07 2015 Monday, December 07, 2015 1:16:00 PM CST in News
By: Chris Gothner, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

CALIFORNIA - A Moniteau County judge declared a mistrial Monday in the trial of a Stover pastor accused of sex crimes. Travis Ray Smith faced felony charges of second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy.

Judge Kenneth Hayden declared a mistrial shortly after the trial got underway Monday. Court officials would not say why Hayden declared a mistrial. 

The charges stem from alleged incidents that took place in Moniteau County on Jan. 1, 2005 as well as other incidents going back as far as 1998. State troopers arrested Smith in Morgan County on Oct. 1, 2012. 

Smith was listed as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Stover at the time of his arrest, but the church's website no longer lists him as its pastor. 

KOMU 8 News previously reported this wasn't the first time Smith was charged with sex crimes.

On September 27, 2010, KOMU 8 News reported that prosecutors charged Smith with second-degree child molestation and second-degree statutory rape. Smith turned himself in after those charges were filed.

Prosecutors dropped the felony rape charge after reviewing the age of one of the girls involved in the case. Prosecutors originally said the girl was 15 when she and Smith first had sex, but the woman later testified she was 17 and legally able to give consent.

In 2011, Smith was acquitted on the second-degree child molestation charge. That jury deliberated for less than an hour before acquitting him.

Church members expressed support for Smith when KOMU 8 News interviewed them in 2012.

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