- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Upper Marlboro man sentenced to 55 years
By Daniel J. GrossStaff Writer
A Prince George's County school bus driver convicted of sexually exploiting a 7-year-old boy to produce child pornography was sentenced to 55 years in prison in federal court Wednesday, just five years short of the maximum sentence of 60 years.
Scott Smallwood, 29, of Upper Marlboro, was sentenced to lifetime supervised release from prison in addition to 30 years for count one and 25 years for count 6 of Smallwood's plea agreement where he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually exploiting an unidentified boy.
The three-hour sentencing hearing involved home movies of sexual acts, trembling verbal testimonies from distraught family members and an exhibit of a homemade doll that resembled an anatomically correct adolescent boy Smallwood used in what U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus called his own “fantasy world.”
“He may have not been an evil person, but what he did is the embodiment of evil,” said Titus before ruling on the case. “The defendant produced a potential lifetime of scarring.”
Smallwood was a county school system bus driver since 2005 and his bus routes included schools in Clinton, Morningside, Brandywine and Upper Marlboro. He was arrested May 21, 2010, after police obtained a cell phone memory card that contained more than a dozen videos that showed him sexually abusing a young boy. According to Smallwood's plea agreement, Smallwood left the memory card at a 7-Eleven in Clinton and the card was found by someone inside the store and that person turned it in to the authorities.
During the council arguments, federal prosecutor Stacy Belf showed members of the court several videos obtained by county police that depicted Smallwood's sexual actions with the boy. She also read from stories of Smallwood's fantasies and a 50-page ledger Smallwood kept that listed specific actions he had done with specific children, she said.
Apart from working as a Prince George's school bus driver, he was also a bus driver for an area church and a summer camp in Montgomery County, which Belf said Smallwood used every opportunity to surround himself with children to prey upon.
“Very simply Mr. Smallwood is a wolf in sheep's clothing,” Belf said. “He was documenting the very worst possible things to be done to a small child. Make no mistake, he is a pedophile.”
Belf later presented Smallwood's homemade doll known as “Brandon” and played one of Smallwood's videos that showed him pleasuring himself over top of the doll.
She also played an audio clip taken from Smallwood's video of himself with the 7-year-old boy. In the audio recording, Smallwood entices the boy to continue with the sexual acts in exchange for more candy.
Defense attorney Timothy Sullivan, a Greenbelt-based lawyer, pleaded for a lower sentence and said Smallwood is taking ownership for his actions by appearing in court and will be able to reverse his mental state with a prison sentence of roughly 20 years rather than the 60 year maximum.
“He was living in a world that did not exist. He was a patchwork of perversity,” Sullivan said. “It was a release for him to try to survive. Mr. Smallwood is here today to take responsibility for what he did.”
Prior to the ruling, Titus also heard from the victim's mother and great-grandmother and a written statement from the 7-year-old himself, which was read by his stepfather.
“I hate what he's done to me and I hate him,” the boy's stepfather, who was kept unidentified in court, read of his own writing. “I don't understand why he did this to me ... I would really like it if you could make Scott go away for as long as you can.”
Smallwood, who wore a maroon jumpsuit and repeatedly placed a tissue on his eyes and shook his head during the prosecutor arguments, also gave a statement just prior to the sentence.
“I feel bad and cry all the time regarding what I'm going through and what the victim's family is going through. I cry myself to sleep every night,” Smallwood said chokingly. “I'm not an evil person. I try my best to help anyone with anything at anytime. That's the kind of person I am.”
Titus also ruled that he will make urgent recommendations to the bureau of prisons that Smallwood be taken to the Federal Medical Center in North Carolina and placed in their sex offenders program.
Family members who attended the hearing, including Smallwood's grandmother, mother and older brother, declined to comment after the ruling. Sullivan also declined to comment further.
Members of the victim's family, who were seen holding back tears and consoling one another during the statements and arguments, also declined to comment.