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Rapist sentenced to up to 15 years in Fayette

| Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Fayette County judge on Friday sentenced a man convicted of raping a woman in his home to serve up to 15 years in prison.

Judge Nancy Vernon ordered Barry L. "Bear" Smith Jr., 29, of 437 Route 31, South Huntingdon, formerly of Belle Vernon, to serve 7 1/2 to 15 years in jail for raping a 34-year-old woman in 2009.

Smith was convicted in March of holding the woman against her will in his home and sexually and physically assaulting her.

Smith is awaiting trial in Westmoreland County on a similar case.

Smith was convicted of rape, aggravated indecent assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, indecent assault, recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment and stalking.

In the Westmoreland case, Smith allegedly raped a 22-year-old woman who told police a friend was supposed to pick her up in California Borough and give her a ride to Charleroi that morning. She said Smith, whom she previously had met twice, showed up instead.

When they got to Smith's house, he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

During yesterday's sentencing hearing, Fayette Assistant Public Defender Mike Garofalo argued for a more lenient sentence, citing the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board's determination that Smith is not a sexual predator.

Vernon told Smith that he is "in need of correctional rehabilitation." She said the prison term is within state sentencing guidelines.

After the sentence was read, Smith told Vernon, "I want to fire my attorney. I wanted to fire him before the trial."

Vernon told Smith that was a legal issue he needs to address later.

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