Federal Judge Dismisses Charges Against Suspected Muskogee Co. Serial Rapist


Thursday, August 27th 2020, 9:15 pm
By: Chinh Doan


MUSKOGEE COUNTY -

The man suspected of raping five women in Muskogee County in the 1990s is out of jail.

A federal judge dismissed the charges against 50-year-old Leroy Smith, ruling the federal statute of limitations has expired.

The case was originally filed in state court, but after the U.S. Supreme Court McGirt ruling on tribal jurisdiction, it was moved to federal court.

Thursday, Smith was released from the Muskogee County Jail. Smith's attorney, Tom Wright, told News On 6 about his client’s reaction to the news.

"He was happy to be able to go home and see his wife and his seven-year-old son and try to restart his life," said Wright.

Wright said Smith maintains his innocence.

Smith was charged with "four counts of aggravated sexual abuse in Indian Country," according to the judge’s order, for crimes that happened in 1993 and 1994.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Brian Kuester, said he's considering appealing the judge's decision.

“We are bound by the law, and we will continue to respect the law, even when they're outcomes that we don't think is necessarily the right outcome," said Kuester.

The crimes went unsolved until this summer, when the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s cold case unit got a DNA match from the cases to Smith.

Muskogee County District Attorney, Orvil Loge, became emotional when announcing Smith's arrest and charges since the victims had waited so long for justice.

Loge’s office handed the case over to federal prosecutors after the U.S. Supreme Court McGirt ruling in July. Loge said he is still grateful to everyone who worked so hard on this case.

"I know what it means to law enforcement, I know what it means to the victims, so it's a tough pill to swallow," said Loge.

The next step is for the judge to consider the U.S. Attorney's request to reconsider the dismissed charges.