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District Attorney

Posted on: March 18, 2019

'Manipulative' Radio Host Jailed up to 20 Years for Years of Sexual Abuse

PhilipSmith

A Lancaster man who worked as a local Christian radio host will serve at least a decade in prison for sexual abuse of a female that endured several years.

Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Wright sentenced 52-year-old Philip Smith on Monday to 10 to 20 years in prison, saying he cannot get back the years of abuse for the victim, but can make Smith pay for what he did.

Smith pleaded guilty and no contest in November to several offenses, including rape and unlawful contact with a minor. The sentence was imposed after a background investigation was completed.

Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield said Smith is educated and able to speak eloquently, but also very manipulative. Mansfield called his actions “deplorable.”

Smith apologized and read a lengthy statement in court; he also wrote a letter to the judge. Mansfield noted that Smith’s letter to the judge made no mention of the victim, rather focused on himself.

Smith also apologized to the radio station community.

Judge Wright said Smith’s words were in contrast to his actions. The judge also noted that Smith pleaded no contest, rather than guilty, to the rape charge. (A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but has the same legal effect.)

Lancaster city police Detective Jessica Higgins, lead investigator, read a statement on behalf of the victim, who chose not to attend.

Detective Higgins said the victim, who has moved out of the area, still struggles every day with what Smith did to her, stressing that he committed the crimes while posing as a “pillar of the community and church.”

“Philip Smith’s actions were completely contradictory to the morals and values that he portrayed to the victim, his family, and his friends, and the community on a daily basis,” Detective Higgins said.

Lancaster city police investigated a report received in April 2018 and filed the charges.

Smith sexually assaulted the female, beginning in 2013 when she was 15. Smith raped the female when she was 18.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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