Stover Pastor Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Crime Charges
MONITEAU COUNTY - A mid-Missouri pastor pleaded not guilty to sexual-abuse charges on Friday.
Travis Ray Smith waived his formal arraignment. The date of his pre-trial has not been scheduled yet.
He faces seven felony charges in three different cases of sex-related crimes, which include abuse, sodomy and rape. The alleged incidents go as far back as 1998. The most recent alleged incidents reportedly took place on January 1, 2005 for second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy. All of the charges were filed on June 17 because of a change in court.
Smith is listed as the only pastor on the First Baptist Church of Stover's website.
In October 2012, KOMU 8 News reported Smith was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol for charges of second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy. Both from incidents that reportedly took place on January 1, 2005 in Moniteau County.
KOMU 8 News reported that this wasn't the first time Smith has been charged with sex crimes.
On September 27, 2010, it was 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. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before acquitting Smith.
KOMU 8 News also reported that two members of the church said he was a good pastor and friend.