Charges filed in 2000 Beloit case

 Beloit police say they have charged a man for a 2000 rape following a recent DNA test completed as part of a state effort to eliminate the backlog in rape test kit analysis.

Jason A. Smith, was charged Thursday in Rock County Circuit Court, according to a news release from the Beloit Police Department.

According to the news release, the assaults took place in the early 2000s. Smith currently is serving a 50-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 for sexual assaults in the city of Beloit and town of Beloit.

The test was done as part of the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and an investigation by the City of Beloit Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, according to the news release.

"While a criminal charge will not reverse the trauma caused by Smith, we hope this will help to bring continued healing and closure for his victims," Beloit Police Chief Police Chief David B. Zibolski wrote in the news release. "These courageous individuals brought this suspect to justice despite fearing for their lives. To us, they are brave heroes who helped remove a very dangerous man from our community before he could harm anyone else."

The Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is a statewide effort to address the accumulation of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits and reform the systems that caused the accumulation, according to a Department of Justice news release.

In September 2015, DOJ was awarded several grants from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance as partof a $110-million-plus national Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative effort supporting multiple jurisdictions addressing sexual assault reform—including testing unsubmitted SAKs, investigating and prosecuting these cases, and supporting victims. 

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