Trial continues for Dearborn officer accused of groping woman during traffic stop
Officer Justin Smith accused of assaulting woman during traffic stop
DEARBORN, Mich. – The trial continues Wednesday for a Dearborn police officer accused of inappropriately touching a woman during a traffic stop.
Justin Smith is charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
A fellow officer took the stand Tuesday and testified that Smith did not follow proper procedure when he pulled the woman over.
A key witness will give testimony Wednesday, which is expected to be the final day of the trial.
The case has been in court several previous times. A jury trial was canceled and now it has become a bench trial in which a judge will determine guilt.
Smith accused of touching woman during traffic stop
Smith is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in May 2016. Court testimony revealed that he knew the woman, with whom he is friendly. She worked as a waitress at a local restaurant.
The unidentified woman claims Smith stopped her car after she left her boyfriend’s house near Cherry Hill and Telegraph roads. She said the contact was unwelcome and entirely unexpected.
"It was an awkward silence, and then he just turned into the car, reached in and touched my (breast) and then went on about his business," the woman said in court.
There is dashcam video of the incident. However, it does not show much. Smith said he only touched the woman's shoulder.
He was suspended without pay.
"The Dearborn Police Department is committed to remaining completely transparent in matters of this nature and we will continue to do that during the course of this investigation," Dearborn police Chief Ronald Haddad said. "An ongoing internal investigation is underway, and we will continue to monitor the criminal case in court."
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