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4. Nancy Smith avoids more jail time in Head Start case

A deal with prosecutors reached in June means that Nancy Smith won’t be returning to prison in the controversial Head Start child molestation case.

Smith, along with her codefendant Joseph Allen, has been free since 2009, when Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge concluded the pair had been wrongly convicted, but the threat of serving out her lengthy prison sentence continued to loom over Smith.

Smith and Allen have long maintained their innocence and Smith continued to do so under the terms of her agreement even though convictions for gross sexual imposition remain on her record. Her sentence, however, was cut to 12 years in prison, time she has already served, meaning that her time in the criminal justice system is over.

Allen wasn’t able to cut quite the same deal, returning to prison for 10 to 25 years. He is eligible for parole in early 2014.

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