By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The Dearborn police officer facing a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge for allegedly groping a woman pled not guilty during his arraignment in Wayne County Circuit Court Sept. 30.
He also faces a charge for common law offenses for the same incident.
Justin Smith, 36, made the plea in front of Judge Dalton Roberson after the case was bound over from 19th District Court.
During a preliminary examination of the evidence against him Sept. 16 in 19th District Court, the victim testified that Smith groped her left breast during a traffic stop.
She testified she and Smith have been friends since 2012 when they met at the local restaurant where she works. She also said she and Smith talked about general sexual activity, but not specific details about it in conversations.
The initial incident occurred on May 2 when the 32-year-old victim was pulled over by Smith on her way home from her boyfriend’s house.
During the exam, the victim testified that as she drove on Telegraph Road near Michigan Avenue, a marked police vehicle pulled her over about 10:20 p.m. prompting her to retrieve her wallet for information.
She said she noticed it was Smith as soon as he got out of the vehicle and approached her driver’s side window.
The victim also testified that with the window rolled down, Smith reached in and groped her left breast with his left hand and went on with his business.
She said he didn’t say anything to her, walked to his vehicle and drove off.
The victim said she was shocked and upset as she continued to drive home after the incident. She then called her boyfriend, who also is a Dearborn police officer, but did not tell him about the incident for three weeks.
Dearborn Police Lt. Gary Mann investigated the case which included text messages and traffic stop footage as evidence.
A calendar conference is scheduled for the case at 9 a.m. Oct. 7 in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James Callahan.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)