Centennial Trail assaulter pleads guilty

Centennial Trail assaulter pleads guilty

The man accused of committing sexual assaults in downtown Spokane has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of Fourth Degree Assault.

Jonathan Smith, 29, was charged with assaulting nearly a dozen women between April 13 and April 15. He pleaded guilty to eight of the eleven counts of Fourth Degree Assault against him.

The judge dismissed the other three counts.

All of the women had the same story.

They were jogging on the Centennial Trail or walking in downtown Spokane when a man on a bike rode up behind them, slapped them on their backsides, then rode off before they knew what happened.

Smith showed up at a local TV station to confess his crimes, saying he was being mischievous, not malicious.

But Spokane police said they didn’t consider his actions to be pranks.

“The simple fact is, people should be able to walk downtown,” Corporal Shane Phillips, Spokane Police Department, said. “They should be able to walk through Gonzaga on the Centennial Trail and not be assaulted. It’s not right and it’s something we’re taking seriously.”

Investigators are concerned about Smith’s past. In 2010, police at Eastern Washington University arrested Smith for taking advantage of a woman who had too much to drink on her 21st birthday.

They’d now like to take a sample of Smith’s DNA to have on record in case his behavior ever escalates.

Smith is being held in the Spokane County Jail until his sentencing.