By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The police officer accused of groping a woman during a traffic stop will to to trial at 9 a.m. Jan. 5 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Judge James Callahan scheduled the trial during a final conference Dec. 15 which was reset by the court from Dec. 14.
Officer Justin Smith faces second-degree criminal sexual conduct and common law offenses charges.
The case began in the 19th District Court in August before moving to circuit court where Smith pled not guilty to the charges in September.
The woman testified that on her drive home from her boyfriend’s house in May she was stopped by a fully marked police vehicle about 10:20 p.m. on Telegraph Road.
The 32-year-old woman testified that during the traffic stop, Smith reached into her vehicle’s window and groped her left breast. Following the incident, no words were exchanged and then Smith walked to his vehicle and drove away.
She then called her boyfriend, who is a police officer in Dearborn, but did not tell him about the incident until a few weeks later.
During Smith’s Sept. 16 preliminary examination of the evidence against him, the woman testified that she became friends with Smith in 2012 when they met at the local bar where she works.
Their relationship involved discussions of sexual activity, but did not mention specific details, she testified.
Dearborn Police Lt. Gary Mann investigated the case and testified that text messages were exchanged between Smith and the woman.
Traffic stop footage showed that Smith had manually turned off the audio, but kept the video on.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])