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Caretaker charged with rape

By Nolan Clay and Randy Ellis Published: October 25, 2007
McALESTER — A longtime Department of Human Services employee has been charged with rape after he reportedly confessed to having sex "on numerous occasions” with a developmentally disabled woman under foster care in his home.

James L. Smith, 62, was charged Monday with first-degree rape, a felony.

His wife, Lynn Smith, 59, is charged with a misdemeanor count of failing to report abuse.

Pittsburg County District Attorney J.B. Miller said the victim is 38, but not mentally competent to consent to sex.

Two DHS workers said an anonymous tipster alleged Lynn Smith had seen her husband and the woman having sex Oct. 14, sheriff's deputy Jeremy Webb reported in an arrest affidavit.

James Smith admitted during an interview Oct. 17 at the sheriff's office "to having engaged in sex with” the woman "on numerous occasions during the past six months,” the deputy reported.

Lynn Smith also admitted to having seen her husband and the woman having sex at their home the evening of Oct. 14, the deputy wrote.

The deputy described James and Lynn Smith as the adult foster caretakers of the victim and reported they are paid by the state.

They could not be reached for comment.

The woman has been removed from the home, DHS spokesman George Johnson said. She is under state custody, so she was either placed directly in the home by DHS or by a contractor overseen by DHS .

James Smith already was on paid leave when he came under investigation, the spokesman said. He remains on leave.

James Smith is a social services specialist II who worked out of the Choctaw Nation Health Clinic in McAlester. He makes $33,900 a year.