Three sentenced in Izard and Sharp County on unrelated sex charges
Izard County Circuit court sentenced two Izard County residents in unrelated sex charges during circuit court July 6 and one was sentenced for sex crimes against a child in Sharp County on July 6
In Izard County Circuit Court, a pastor and former teacher at Izard County Consolidated, the other a mother received sentences. Both entered guilty pleas on several sex charges, in high profile cases in the area.
Robert Jackson Norton, 53, pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree sexual assault and 34 counts of possession of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. Norton, of Sage was sentenced to 30 years. A former pastor at the Franklin Baptist Church, his arrest rocked the community. The victims of his sexual assaults were his fourth grade students. Because of him not only being a teacher, but also a pastor, the trust issue with the victims made the crime exceptionally hard on the community.
The second offender sentenced was Beth Anne Dickerson, 32, of Calico Rock. Dickerson was sought by authorities for allegedly providing teens with alcohol and then engaging in sexual activities with them. Dickerson plead guilty to two counts of sexual indecency with a child. She admitted to giving teens alcohol and then engaging in sexual activities with them. Dickerson was sentenced to spend 12 years in prison. Both crimes happened with in a few months of one another.
In Sharp County, James Lee Smith, 35, of Cherokee Village pled guilty to sexual offenses committed against a child. Third Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce announced Smith was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Smith's charges included second degree sexual assault, a Class B felony and sexual indecency with a child, a Class D felony.
Charges were brought against Smith when during the summer of 2014, Smith had access to the child in his home. Smith is currently being held in the Sharp County Detention Center awaiting transfer to the Department of Corrections.
Boyce said, "I am pleased we were able to bring this case to a successful conclusion, with the perpetrator admitting his guilt."