Possible serial rapist charged for crimes in multiple cities

Photo courtesy of the Livonia Police Department Local law enforcement agencies believe this man is responsible for a series of sexual assaults and home invasions dating back to 2011.

Photo courtesy of the Livonia Police Department
Local law enforcement agencies believe this man is responsible for a series of sexual assaults and home invasions dating back to 2011.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

A Redford Township man is accused of being involved in 35 rape and home invasion cases throughout seven metropolitan Detroit cities.

Ikeie Smith, 32, was arraigned Sept. 15 in 19th District Court in Dearborn where he was charged with two counts of first degree home invasion before Judge William Hultgren.

He was also arraigned Sept. 14 in 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights on one count of torture and two counts of first degree home invasion and second degree criminal sexual conduct.

The charges stem from incidents in Dearborn Heights back in December 2013 and September 2014.

Smith’s court appearance comes just one day after the city’s police department turned in two warrant requests to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Smith was arraigned in 24th District Court in Allen Park Sept. 13 and charged with three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, first degree home invasion and unarmed robbery for crimes committed in 2015. Bond was set at $1 million.

On Sept. 9, Smith faced two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct and armed robbery in the 17th District Court in Redford Township. These charges come from cases in 2014 and 2016.

The same day, Smith also was arraigned in 21st District Court in Garden City on three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct and second degree criminal sexual conduct, and first-degree home invasion for 2015 crimes.

Along with Allen Park, Redford and Garden City, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Inkster and Taylor also are involved.

As for Dearborn, Smith is suspected in three incidents that occurred in the city based on DNA evidence. One incident involved the use of DNA for connection.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said there is a possibility Smith also could be connected to additional crimes dating back to 2011.

The Dearborn link to Smith began in July 2015 when a pattern was identified from multiple break-ins on the border shared with Allen Park. He also attempted or completed sexual assaults during the incidents.

Detectives then began communicating with neighboring jurisdictions where they received several more incidents similar to the series.

“Characteristics on the way crimes were being committed helped narrowing down a suspect,” Haddad said during a press conference Sept. 12 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. “Detectives were able to come together and said there were similar patterns.”

In November 2015, a multi-jurisdiction serial home invasion task force was created with the affected communities where hundreds of reports were reviewed.

Task force officers then determined that more than 30 cases were related during their investigation.

Last month, Livonia police obtained surveillance video of a suspect walking through a resident’s yard which was sent to local media for assistance.

In September, task officers received an anonymous tip from Michigan Crime stoppers which investigators confirmed before arresting Smith Sept. 7.

The Dearborn Police Department Special Operations Unit took Smith into custody where was interviewed and admitted responsibility for several cases in the jurisdictions, Haddad said.

Haddad refused to comment on the cases in other cities and said Dearborn is completing its investigation before submitting a warrant request.

“There was no rape in Dearborn incidents where homes were violated,” he said. “Every individual municipality is in charge of conducting its own investigation.”

Haddad also mentioned that about 100 people were victimized throughout the five years from crimes allegedly committed by Smith.

“We’re glad he’s off the streets,” Haddad said. “Different departments talking to each other and connecting made this investigation successful.”

Smith is due back in the 17th District Court on Sept. 20 for a probable cause hearing, and 21st District Court on Sept. 26 for a preliminary examination of the evidence against him.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)