Man And Woman Get Life In Prison For Rape Of One-Year-Old Baby In Belmont County


The Belmont County mother who raped her baby girl –and her online sex chat partner who told her what to do– have both been sentenced to life in prison.

“Their crimes were shocking and disgusting,” said Judge Frank Fregiato in Belmont County Common Pleas Court.

Peggy Horstman and William Smith sat at separate tables, each with their own lawyer.

Given a chance to speak in their own behalf, they each declined.

Judge Fregiato made it clear who would be getting priority consideration in this case.

“In Belmont County, Ohio, there will be justice for a one-year-old,” he said.

Horstman had entered a guilty plea to one count of rape.

Smith was convicted by a jury of complicity to rape.

Judge Fregiato used fiery words in the sentencing.

“I intend to sentence Smith, the master sex manipulator who caused the rape, and Ms. Horstman, the mother of the year who did the rape, I sentence them both to life imprisonment,” he said.

He deemed them to be Tier Three sex offenders, which means they will have to register for life.

They won’t be eligible to apply for parole for 15 years.

But there’s a new wrinkle in this case.

Peggy Horstman is pregnant again.

And this baby will be born in prison.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry says it will be up to the Ohio Department of Corrections, as to what happens to the baby.

“She was convicted of rape,” Fry said of Horstman.  “That will obviously be in the documents that go to the penitentiary. My office will also advise the penitentiary that she abused a one-year-old child already. So there’s concern with this new baby, that obviously she can’t be trusted around young children.”

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