A 19-year-old Friedens man will face charges in Somerset County court stemming from allegations that he sexually assaulted a female when she slept overnight at her friend’s aunt’s home in Somerset Township on Feb. 24.
Jett Michael Smith, Taylor Road, is charged with aggravated indecent assault, a felony, and indecent assault.
Somerset District Judge Ken Johnson bound the charges to county court after a preliminary hearing Tuesday that consisted of testimony from state police criminal investigator Joseph Drzal, who filed the complaint, and the 21-year-old woman.
Emotions ran high for the woman, who ran from the courtroom in the middle of her testimony. She returned but continued to sob throughout her time on the stand.
The woman testified that she and Smith met for the first time that evening, but she did not remember his name. She recognized him from a driver’s license state police showed her during the investigation, she said.
That night everyone went to sleep spread throughout the residence. The woman and her girlfriends stretched out on the floor together, the woman said. She woke up to a noise and at first thought it might be the television. She realized it was Smith making the noise. He eventually ended up beside her that night, she said.
He put his arm across her chest and touched her under her clothing, she testified. He had her touch him through his clothes, she said.
Smith kept asking her if his actions felt good and she said she told him no, that she had a boyfriend and to leave her alone.
“I didn’t know what to do. It happened so fast,” she said. “I got up and ran to the bathroom. I just stood there and I thought of my boyfriend at the time and what he would do.”
The next day the woman told her girlfriends about what happened. She said Smith, her friends and some of her friends’ family were in the same residence for most of the following day.
“I felt like he was watching me,” she said.
She said she no longer attends school because “it was too much for me.” She now lives with her family.
Smith’s attorney, Steven Miller of Somerset, asked questions sparingly of Drzal and the woman.
“I will not concede the prima facie (the threshold the prosecution must reach to have the charges move forward to trial court), but I have no argument,” he said at the end of the testimony.
Johnson did not modify Smith’s bond. He is free on a $10,000 unsecured bond.