Charges filed in 2000 Beloit case following recent DNA testing of rape kit
BELOIT, Wis. (WKOW) -
Beloit police and state officials say they have charged a man for a 2000 rape following a recent DNA test completed as part of a state effort to eliminate the backlog in rape test kit analysis.
Jason A. Smith, was charged Thursday in Rock County Circuit Court with two felony counts of sexual assault of a child while armed with a dangerous weapon.
According to a Beloit Police Department news release, the assaults took place nearly eighteen years ago. Smith currently is serving a 50-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 for sexual assaults in the city of Beloit and town of Beloit.
The test was done as part of the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and an investigation by the City of Beloit Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, according to the news release.
"While a criminal charge will not reverse the trauma caused by Smith, we hope this will help to bring continued healing and closure for his victims," Beloit Police Chief Police Chief David B. Zibolski wrote in the news release. "These courageous individuals brought this suspect to justice despite fearing for their lives. To us, they are brave heroes who helped remove a very dangerous man from our community before he could harm anyone else."
The Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is a statewide effort to address the accumulation of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits and reform the systems that caused the accumulation, according to a Department of Justice news release.
In September 2015, DOJ was awarded several grants from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance as part of a $110-million-plus national Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative effort supporting multiple jurisdictions addressing sexual assault reform—including testing unsubmitted SAKs, investigating and prosecuting these cases, and supporting victims.
The criminal complaint filed against Smith Thursday states Smith confronted a thirteen year old girl as she walked on a Beloit street July 18, 2000, showed her he had a gun, and threatened to hurt her if she did not comply with his wishes. The complaint says Smith sexually assaulted her.
The complaint states Beloit Police were informed in March by the state crime laboratory that a match was made between DNA retrieved from the girl's submitted sexual assault kit, and Smith's DNA.
Rock County Circuit Court records show just months after Smith allegedly victimized the teenager in July 2000, he sexually harmed another teen.
Records show on Oct. 30, 2000, Smith confronted two sisters with a knife as they walked to school in the Town of Beloit, and sexually assaulted one of the girls.
Records also show weeks later, on Dec. 4, 2000, Smith confronted an 18-year old shopper outside a Beloit mall with a gun, and sexually assaulted her.
Court records show state crime lab technicians used DNA samples from the sex assault victims from the October and December incidents and matched them to Smith's DNA.
Zibolski has yet to respond to questions from 27 News on why the sexual assault kit from the victim in July 2000 was not tested closer in time to the incident.
"Who knows how many other girls there are," the victim of the December 2000 mall rape told a Rock County judge, as Smith entered a plea of guilty. "This has affected me through my whole life."
In connection with the criminal charges filed Thursday, Smith is scheduled to appear in Rock County Court June 28.