Leroy Jemol Smith, 51, who is accused of raping at least five women in the 1990s in Muskogee, is now being held without bond in the Muskogee County Jail after District Attorney Orvil Loge refiled a case against him earlier this month.
Smith had been charged before, but was released after the United States Supreme Court ruled last July that Oklahoma has no jurisdiction over Native Americans enrolled in federally recognized tribes on Tribal reservations. Most of Muskogee lies inside the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation, while some lies inside the Cherokee reservation.
Once Smith had been released, the federal government declined to prosecute him, citing that the federal statute of limitations had expired. The Creek Nation vowed to bring him to justice, but no motion was ever taken.
Loge re-filed his case this month, according to victims, because Smith was not a registered member of a federally recognized tribe when the crimes were committed; only after did he register. The state’s statute of limitations has expired, too, but an exception to that statute is made for cases where DNA evidence is used to later identify a suspect.
A new technique of DNA testing identified Smith as the perpetrator of at least one of the rapes, The state alleges. One of the victims of the serial rapist has since died.
Smith has a sounding docket on February 16 at 10 a.m.