Leroy Jemol Smith

Leroy Jemol Smith

An Oklahoma man accused of being a serial rapist was arrested Thursday in Denton and is currently booked into the Denton County Jail.

The U.S. Marshals arrested Leroy Smith, 51, of Tulsa, on Thursday in the 1100 block of South Avenue B near the University of North Texas. A spokesperson for the Denton Police Department said the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Oklahoma requested assistance in apprehending Smith on rape charges that stem from incidents in the 1990s.

The Muskogee Daily Phoenix reported on Jan. 6 the Muskogee County district attorney refiled four charges of first-degree rape against Smith. A case was filed against him in 2020 in federal court but was dismissed after the Supreme Court ruled Oklahoma had no jurisdiction over Native Americans. The Daily Phoenix reported Smith had become a member of a federally recognized tribe after the alleged rape spree ended.

The case was then dismissed in Muskogee County and forwarded to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, who then dismissed it based on the expiration of the statute of limitations.

The district attorney’s new filing is based on the fact that the incidents occurred before Smith was a member of a federally recognized tribe; therefore he isn’t covered by the McGirt Supreme Court ruling, the paper reported.

According to an affidavit filed in the Muskogee County District Court in 2020, Smith is alleged to have raped at least five women who all described a man matching Smith’s description at the time. As new DNA technology surfaced, authorities determined Smith was their suspect.

Smith was booked into the Denton County Jail Friday after first being taken to the Denton City Jail Thursday. A Denton County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said Smith would likely be held until the agency that issued the arrest warrant picked him up to transfer him back to Oklahoma.

He was wanted by the U.S. Marshals in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

ZAIRA PEREZ can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @zairalperez.

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