A plea agreement has been reached in a case involving first degree kidnapping charges.
Jury selection was scheduled to begin at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon in Winneshiek County in the case of 40-year-old Ellis Smith of rural Decorah, who was charged with first degree kidnapping and with human trafficking of someone under the age of 18 in a case that dates back to August of 2009.
Instead Smith entered a guilty plea Wednesday to a charge of second degree sexual abuse and to the charge of human trafficking. A presentence investigation has been ordered in the case. Smith will be sentenced on the charges at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 9th. The second degree sexual abuse charge carries a maximum possible penalty of 25 years in prison. Under sentencing guidelines, at least 70 percent of that penalty must be imposed, meaning meaning Smith will be sentenced to at least 17 and a half years in prison.