Murderer now charged with rape after a backlogged rape kit tested

Murderer now charged with rape after a backlogged rape kit tested

A murderer is now charged with rape after deputies say his DNA was linked to a backlogged rape kit from 2006.

The girl's sexual assault kit was completed days after the attack, but the case detective did not know of the DNA match to Anthony Haroldlee Smith, 33, until April 4, court documents show.

In that case, the girl was driving with a friend near International Blvd and South 216th Street in Des Moines. He had two other people get into his car, and eventually the friend said they had to get out of the vehicle because he had something to do.

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The woman told police they were at an apartment complex and she asked the other two men if she could go with them because she had no place else to go.

Inside one of the apartments, investigators said both men raped her.

The girl fled when she heard them go onto a balcony. The following day she was arrested for trespassing in Georgetown and reported the rape when she was taken to the Youth Services Center.

The King County Sheriff’s Office was told the DNA match was found through CODIS, the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System that has DNA profiles from crime scenes. Murderers are among the criminals ordered to give their DNA upon conviction.

The victim denied ever having consensual sex with Smith, who is imprisoned at the Monroe Correctional Complex for the murder case. He was sentenced in 2012 for shooting death of 23-year-old Sweetheart Failautusi the previous August at 15th Ave Southwest and Southwest Roxbury Street in White Center.

When contacted by a sexual assault detective, Smith said he did not want to talk and requested an attorney, according to charging documents. Charges in the rape case were filed April 24 in King County Superior Court.

Washington State has roughly 10,000 backlogged rape test kits at the State Patrol Crime Lab, the Senate Committee on Law and Justice was told in March.

Rep. Tina Orwall (D. - Des Moines) sponsored HB 1166 and told KIRO7 how she saw stacks of untested kits in 2015. It adds $13 million in funding to address the untested samples with new staff and a lab in Vancouver.

“I went in my car and cried because I just thought, they assumed we tested them,” Orwall said.  “And every one of those boxes was a voice that wasn't heard.”

In February, a backlogged rape kit identified Robert J. Childs as a suspect in the 2006 rape of a 12-year-old at the Seafair Torchlight Parade. Earlier this month, Orwall also said five serial rapists were identified – four who were still out of jail.

“We know the legislature has a lot of priorities,” Orwall said last month, “but we think for the healing of survivors to get dangerous perpetrators off the streets this should be a priority legislation.”

The house bill – which ensured future rape kits would be tested within 45 days by 2022 -- passed unanimously in the house and senate, other than those excused, and was signed by the Governor on April 23.

“This is about keeping our communities safe,” Orwall said, “and it’s one of the most important things we can do.”

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