Jury trial set for police officer who allegedly groped woman

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — A jury trial has been set for the Dearborn police officer who allegedly groped a woman during a traffic stop in May.
The trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 5 before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James Callahan.

A final conference just before the trial will take place at 9 a.m. Dec. 14 before Callahan at the request of the defense attorney.

During his Sept. 30 arraignment in Circuit Court, Police Officer Justin Smith pled not guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct and common law offenses charges.

The case began in 19th District Court when 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. The victim also said she and Smith talked about general sexual activity, but not specific details about it in conversations.

The incident allegedly occurred during a traffic stop 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.

Smith was arraigned Aug. 28 and released on a $10,000 personal bond.

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