|For Immediate Release
January 28th, 2002
Convicted Molester in Psychiatric Hospital Charged With 22 Counts in 5-Year-Old Case
SANTA ANA — A convicted child molester who was admitted to a state psychiatric hospital in 1999 because of a lurid letter portraying child sex acts has been charged with 22 criminal counts that happened five years ago.
Cary Jay Smith (DOB 12-19-60) is charged with lewd act upon a child between the period of Sept. 5, 1996 and March 1, 1997. The victim was a young boy that Smith had befriended in his Costa Mesa neighborhood.
The case was filed on Jan. 24. If convicted on all charges, Smith faces a maximum of 50 years in prison. He is currently being housed at Patton State Hospital and is scheduled for arraignment on Feb. 11 in Dept. H-2 of the Harbor Justice Center.
Smith was admitted to Patton in 1999 after his wife found a letter that described in lurid detail sexual acts that he wanted to perform on a child. Patients who are committed to Patton State Hospital are allowed to petition for their release every six months, so in 2000 Smith tried to convince a jury that he was sane enough to be released. Witnesses included psychiatrists who claimed Smith admitted to molesting more than 200 boys. He lost his trial and currently has a new hearing date set for Feb. 27.
The case unfolded when a private investigator befriended Smith in Patton, claiming that he wanted to write a book. Smith gave details in the interview that led to the victim who is the center of this current criminal case. That information was turned over to the Costa Mesa police. When further investigation corroborated the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office filed charges.