Officials with the Air Force are staying mum about the possibility of more victims of Staff Sergeant Joshua Adam Smith. They refuse to give the information about the convicted child rapist because the case is still open. Linda Card, an Air Force Office of Special Investigations spokeswoman at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, stated that if the AFOSI “or anyone suspects there are more victims, that information would be part of the ongoing investigation process and not releasable until the case is officially closed.”
Officials at Ramstein in Germany would also not comment citing the ongoing nature of the investigation, but so far no more alleged victims have come forward to Family Advocacy at Ramstein. Captain Erika Best, Family Advocacy officer, stated “We were poised for that, if anyone did have these concerns. She went on to note that her office expected people would call “concerned that he had interaction with their children, but we haven’t gotten any.”
Because of the nature of child rape and sexual abuse, it may be decades before any more victims come forward.
Twenty-seven year old Smith has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was court-martialed at Ramstein Air Base this past Friday where he pled guilty to eighteen federal criminal counts including multiple specifications of raping and molesting three girls, two of them preschool age.
He used the internet to trawl for his victims and duped parents in the Kaiserslautern military community into hiring him. He provided them with fake references and used an alias to promote himself as a trustworthy babysitter. Smith was arrested on 20 April when his seven year old victim came forward. She told her parents about Smith about two weeks after he had last cared for her. He babysat for her four times. The other victims were three and four years of age, and no other information has been made public.
The mother of the seven year old told Stars and Stripes that she had no information about the OSI investigation stated “I don’t know if there are more victims. Although I suspect there must be. I have unanswered questions that I think they could answer. Maybe they can’t [tell me].” Answers may not be forthcoming until after the investigation is fully closed, as indicated by the mother of the three year old victim.
She believes that there are more victims, and stated “He was highly into pornography and taking pictures, and I know he had other pictures besides” the three known victims. An investigation has been opened into whether or not Smith raped one of his own family members when he was seventeen before he entered the Air Force. There are also multiple encrypted media devices which belong to Smith that have not yet been decrypted.
Card has also stated that they are continuing to investigate, including Smith’s previous assignments. She has stated “They would have checked anywhere he’s been.” Smith was assigned to Ramstein in 2007, and before that he was at Incirlik Air base in Turkey and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Social workers are offering counseling and intervention for families who do call Family Advocacy, which offered free counseling to the victims and their families in this case. Best noted that the sessions are confidential and not noted in medical records.
Family Advocacy also brought in an Air Force pediatrician from the US to help meet with the families and train the base child care workers in how to spot possible indicators of sexual abuse. The doctor specializes in child abuse trauma.
According to Best, the youngest victims may not have any memory of what was done to them. She stated “They don’t necessarily understand that it’s wrong. They don’t have the words to describe it. They don’t put those same kind of labels on it.” It may be years or decades before those memories surface. The seven year old did know what was going on and according to her mother “She just said that she saw his ‘privates,’ and so I had asked if she walked in on him in the bathroom, giving him the benefit of the doubt. She said ‘No, it was on the couch, it was in mom’s bed.’ My husband and I just looked at each other in horror and then went to the police.”