By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A final conference and trial start date have been set in the case against Dearborn police officer Justin Smith, 36, after he allegedly groped a woman during a traffic stop.
The final conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 16 in Wayne County Circuit Court before Judge James Callahan.
The conference will be the last hearing before the trial which is set for Jan. 5 at 8:30 a.m. in circuit court.
During his arraignment in circuit court on Sept. 30, Smith pled not guilty on the second-degree criminal sexual conduct and common law offenses charges.
On Sep. 16 in 19th District Court, the victim testified that Smith groped her left breast during a traffic stop in May.
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 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.
No words were exchanged after the incident. Smith then 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.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)