One Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. associate who has sold advertisements for the LaRouche organization's Loudoun County News is Lewis D. Smith, 28, who was convicted in federal magistrate's court in Alexandria Jan. 15 on two charges of simple assault and one charge of touching another person without permission, stemming from incidents last year when he was selling LaRouche literature at Dulles International Airport.

Smith received six months of unsupervised probation and a $200 fine, and he is appealing the conviction.

Last December, a judge in Chester County, Pa., orphans' court ruled in a preliminary finding that Smith is incompetent and named a guardian of his estate of approximately $1.5 million. Smith's family had asked the judge for the ruling after he became involved with the LaRouche group and lent it $212,000.

"Lewis testified that it would not upset him if the loan wasn't paid back," Court of Common Pleas Judge Lawrence E. Wood wrote.

Smith's lawyer, James Crummett, noted that the finding is the first step in a two-step decision process in which the judge will make a final ruling after hearing Smith's appeal.

Crummett said the judge may have made his initial decision because of Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.'s unpopularity. Crummett said Smith "feels his First Amendment rights are being violated . . . . We're talking about free association and support of ideas."

Wood wrote that soon after Smith joined LaRouche, he changed from being "a friendly, 'happy go lucky' sort to being a serious and withdrawn person hostile to his family."

Wood noted that Smith has "an oversimplified view of the world in which he is one of the good guys and 'they' are conspirators bent on mischief." He concluded that Smith has a "mental disorder" and that evidence indicated that "unless the court intervenes, Lewis will continue to squander his admittedly substantial resources." The judge said that Smith is "a target for designing persons" and that the LaRouche group is "a political organization with unusual, if not suspect, goals and motives."