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Serial rape trial day 4: Ikeie Smith accused of sexual assaults across Metro Detroit

Police say incidents date back to 2011

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DETROIT – Day four of the trial for a suspected serial rapist accused of committing sexual assaults across Metro Detroit continued Thursday.

Ikeie Ranordo Smith, 32, of Redford Township, is facing multiple charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree home invasion and assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

Smith is charged in Allen Park, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster and Redford Township.

According to police, the incidents date back to 2011.

READ: Trial Day 1 Recap

READ: Trial Day 2 Recap

READ: Trial Day 3 Recap

Nurse testifies about evidence in Garden City case

Jennifer Machnee, a forensic nurse with Wayne County SAFE, was called to the stand to testify about the collection of evidence from the victim in the Garden City sexual assault.

Machnee talked about the report that she took from the victim. One question in the report asks how many assailants were involved in the assault and the nurse marked multiple. She admitted to making the mistake in the report.

She testified to collecting DNA evidence of the attacker’s salvia from the victims the skin after the incident.

The defense asked questions about inconsistencies in the report.

MSP forensic scientists called to the stand

Billie Hooker, a forensic scientist with the Michigan State Police Biology Unit, was recalled to the stand Thursday to discuss the testing of the evidence from the Garden City case.

Melanie Morse, also a forensic scientist with the Michigan State Police Biology Unit, was called to talk about Hooker’s testimony.

Morse performed DNA analysis in the case. She said the results of report matched the DNA to the prior cases. She also said that later, she matched the samples in the Garden City case to the sample Dearborn police took from Smith.

She said match has a probability of 1 in 119.5 decillion (1033) for the Caucasian population and 1 in 6.72 nonillion (1030) for the African American population.

DNA linked multiple cases before police had suspect

Lynne Helton, of the Michigan State Police Northville Forensic Laboratory, was called to the stand to discuss the DNA database.

Helton is a DNA examiner and is an administrator of the CODIS DNA database.

She testified on how the DNA taken from the Garden City case to profiles in the database from prior sexual assaults. She specifically mentioned the cigarette butt from the Inkster case and to the DNA taken from victim’s foot in the Redford case.

The defense had no questions for the witness.

Details of case

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad addressed the community when Smith was taken into custody, detailing the arrest of the suspected serial rapist and the case against the man.

"I appreciate the public's support and patience while we continue this investigation," Haddad said. "Investigations of this type are complicated and time consuming and, while it is importnat to notify the public of current events, it is most important that we do not do anything to compromise the investigation."

The chief said a pattern was noticed in home invasions near the border between Dearborn and Allen Park in July 2015. The home invasions involved some sort of completed or attempted sexual assault. Neighboring jurisdictions had received several more incidents which appeared to be similar.

Haddad said at least three of the cases happened in Dearborn.

A multi-jurisdictional task force was created in November 2015 involving police departments in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Allen Park, Redford Township, Inkster and Garden City, as well as the Michigan State Police, FBI, MDOC and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

The FBI behavioral scientists labeled the suspect as a “power reassurance rapist.”

“There’s no more power he holds over the people,” Haddad said. “I can assure you he’ll be in jail for a long time.”

Surveillance video of a suspect in the backyard of a Livonia home helped in naming a person of interest.

“This particular nightmare that has plagued our community and our region for a long time is over,” Haddad said.

Authorities believe there are a minimum of 35 cases in the region they suspect Smith is responsible for.

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also spoke at the news conference.

“In our region, law enforcement comes together time and time again without borders,” O’Reilly said. “Crime doesn’t care about boundaries.”

Timeline

The Dearborn Police Department released a timeline of events related to the serial rapes and home invasions across the region. 

Background

According to police, Smith was arrested in connection with a series of home invasions and sexual assaults across the metro area.

Police said the incidents date back to 2011 and involve at least eight jurisdictions.

Smith was taken into custody by Dearborn police within a mile of where a number of the home invasions occurred, police said.

"The arrest of this suspect will hopefully provide closure to our victims and it is important to note that all members of this task force have expended an enormous amount of resources and energy into this investigation," Haddad said. "This collaborative effort along with citizen cooperation has resulted in a very dangerous predator being taken off the streets."

The FBI, MSP, Livonia Police Department, Dearborn Police Department and a number of other police agencies across the metro area participated in the investigation.

Painful flashback

Local 4 spoke to a sexual assault victim who says the description of Smith matches the man who attacked her in 2012.

The woman was just a teen at the time of the attack. She said a man came into her Dearborn Heights home when her mother was at work and attacked her while she was in her bedroom.

"He said if I moved he'd kill me," she said about the attack. "It's just really scary."

The woman said she was able to escape the man, but her mother says the memory of the attack still lingers.

"We have all the windows blocked with something still," the victim's mother said. "It's been four years since that happened and it still lingers. It's horrible."

Stay with Local 4 and ClickonDetroit.com as more information becomes available.