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Medford man sentenced for sexually abusing incapacitated friend

A Medford man was sentenced to prison Tuesday for sexually abusing a woman who was incapacitated by pain and sleep medications she took after being diagnosed with an ovarian tumor.

Karl Smith, 54, was sentenced in Jackson County Circuit Court to two-and-a-half years in prison plus seven-and-a-half years' probation. He must register as a sex offender and submit to HIV and DNA testing.

Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree sex abuse and avoided a Tuesday trial. He had been facing two counts of first-degree sodomy for sexually abusing the victim while she was mentally incapacitated and physically helpless, according to court documents.

The victim, who was 36 years old when the crime occurred in November 2013, said she had been friends with Smith for six years. Their children were friends with each other at the time.

The victim had been having hip problems and went to a doctor's appointment. A MRI scan revealed she had a tumor on her ovary, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

She went home and took pain medications and a sleep aid. Under the guise of taking care of her, Smith took her into the bedroom. The victim was unable to remember what happened. The next day, Smith brought her a latté and told her what he had done, according to the District Attorney's Office.

"I was appalled," the victim said on Tuesday. "I thought, 'This isn't right.' I got very upset. I was shocked and appalled and hurt. He was my friend."

The victim said the crime damaged her relationship with Smith's children, whom she loved, and hurt the relationship among all the children, who had been friends.

"This has caused me a tremendous amount of pain. This has ruined me in so many ways," she said.

"It's essentially killed my soul," she added.

With an anguished look at his children who were in the courtroom, Smith gave a thumbs-up signal before being led away by a Jackson County sheriff's deputy.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

Smith, Karl