Months after 71-year-old man released after 24 years in prison, police say he raped again

Published 10:57 pm Monday, June 28, 2021

An Alabama man who spent 24 years in prison for rape is in jail again in connection with another rape that happened months after his release. reports that 71-year-old Willard Smith, of Brent, was jailed on June 22 on two charges with bonds totaling $90,000. Smith is accused of rape and sodomy at knifepoint.

The crime was reported in Birmingham on Oct. 27, 2020, according to court records. Smith had been released from state prison on May 29, 2020 after serving 24 years on a 1996 first-degree rape conviction.

Smith was arrested in 1995 on charges of burglary and rape.

The following year, he pleaded guilty to the rape charge and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Court records show Smith did not conform with requirements under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act because when he moved from his Bibb County residence he failed to provide the state with a new address.

The alleged assault in Birmingham happened four months after he left Bibb County.

Two days after that reported crime, he was arrested by Homewood police for not having the required identification noting that he is a sex offender. During that arrest, police recovered an 8-inch piece of plastic that had been fashioned into a makeshift knife.

Online jail records did not indicate whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.