Raymond man sentenced for assaulting young girl; son in prison for killing wife who strangled child
Richard Smeltzer, 69, admitted to causing "serious bodily injury" by kissing a 9-year-old girl on the mouth last June 23, according to court papers filed by prosecutors. The girl was Smeltzer's neighbor at the time of the offense, according to prosecutors.
Smeltzer was able to avoid facing trial on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and felonious sexual assault, after county prosecutors agreed to allow him to plead guilty to a first-degree assault charge last month. He was sentenced last Tuesday in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Prosecutors had previously accused Smeltzer of engaging in sexual acts with the girl.
Had he been convicted of the aggravated felonious sexual assault charges, Smeltzer could have faced up to 10 to 20 years in state prison. The plea deal will require Smeltzer to register as a sex offender for 10 years once he is released from state prison. He will have to undergo sex offender treatment while incarcerated at the state prison, according to a judge's order.
Raymond police arrested Smeltzer on Aug. 27 after the girl told a family member about the alleged assaults, according to police.
Smeltzer is currently serving his sentence at the state prison in Concord, where his 42-year-old son is serving time for killing his wife.
Christopher Smeltzer began serving a 15-to-30-year state prison term in December 2011 after pleading guilty to manslaughter for killing his wife, Mara Pappalardo, on Nov. 7, 2010.
Prosecutors say that he came home to find that Pappalardo had strangled to death their 4-year-old son and attempted to do the same to their 7-year-old daughter.
Smeltzer maintained that he bludgeoned his wife to death with a flashlight because he believed at first that she had killed both children. He was initially charged with second-degree murder. His earliest parole date is November 2025.