‘Can’t go through this again,’ woman tells alleged rapist
A Dearborn Heights woman told a judge Wednesday she prayed herself out of a potentially worse sexual assault by a suspect authorities identify as Redford Township man believed to be responsible for a series of home invasions and sexual assaults.
The woman said a man broke into her Cornell Street home around 4 a.m. Dec. 9, 2013, and got on top of her and forced her to touch his genitalia.
The woman said she begged the suspect not to further sexually assault her by telling him she had been raped before and “I can’t go through this again.”
Police say the man who attacked the woman is Ikeie Smith of Redford Township, who is accused of up to 35 home invasions or sexual assaults in up to eight Metro Detroit communities. The woman testified during Smith’s preliminary hearing in Dearborn Heights court.
The Detroit News generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.
The woman, whose daughter, who has a disability, was 3 at the time, said she prayed and told the suspect that he could make better choices by making a decision not to assault her any further.
The victim said the suspect then told her she was protected by the “veil” of God. He paced around her bedroom, she said, while saying, “Why did I pick this house. ... Why did I pick this house?”
The woman, in her 30s, said the suspect told her he “believed the devil and Satan had entered him, causing him to do these things.”
He left the house without further assaulting her.
Smith, who carried a blue Bible with him in court, was warned frequently by his attorney, Wyatt Harris, about frequently blurting out in court.
In a second Dearborn Heights hearing, two women testified about a home invasion on Bedford where one of the women was sexually assaulted by an African-American male wearing a black and white skull mask around 5 a.m. Sept. 9, 2014.
Smith’s attorney argued the two women did not identify his client as the attacker.
A Dearborn police detective testified the 32-year-old Smith told him he broke into homes with unlocked windows and doors in dark, poorly-lit neighborhoods.
Judge David Turfe bound Smith over for trial on several charges for the two Dearborn Heights incidents. He is due back in court for an arraignment on information Oct. 19 in Third Circuit Court.
A third preliminary examination was scheduled Wednesday in Inkster.
Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad said detectives in his department first spotted a pattern in a series of home invasions near the city’s border with Allen Park in July 2015.
Police reached out to law enforcement agencies in neighboring communities and discovered several incidents with similarities, the police chief said.
Four months later, the police departments, Michigan State Police, FBI and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office created a task force to investigate the crimes, he said.
Smith was arrested Sept. 7.