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Las Vegas man arrested in child rape, assault case from 21 years ago

A Las Vegas man has been arrested in the beating and rape of a child 21 years ago after police say his DNA was linked to the crime.

Randy Earl Smith, 41, was arrested Sept. 20 on an arrest warrant charging him with sex assault of a child under the age of 14.

Las Vegas police wrote in the warrant that detectives were notified in 2018 that a DNA sample recovered from a 12-year-old rape victim in June 2000 had been linked to Smith via a DNA comparison made in a national law enforcement database known as CODIS.

Police said upon receiving news of the DNA match, they learned that an initial police report filed in 2000 on behalf of the 12-year-old was missing from police records. As a result, they contacted the now adult woman and started the investigation into the crime anew.

The woman told police that when she was 12, she and her friends in Las Vegas called what she described as “The Party Line” to talk to strangers. This, in turn, led her to meet with a man who identified himself as “Randy.” During a second meeting with “Randy,” he took her to an apartment in Las Vegas where multiple other men were present. She was given alcohol, then beaten and raped before being taken home, she said.

She told police she went to school the next morning because she had to take a final exam, but a teacher noticed bruises all over her face and that the child was very distraught. Police were called to the school and she was taken to an area hospital where DNA was collected as part of a sex assault investigation. The woman said when police initially interviewed her, they expressed skepticism about her account.

After reopening the investigation, police tracked down the teacher who initially called police and interviewed her. They also confirmed the gathering of the DNA from the child through hospital records.

Police then went and obtained a new DNA sample from Smith at the Clark County Detention Center. In November 2020, a new comparison was done between Smith’s DNA and the DNA recovered from the child in 2000 at the hospital.

“The major DNA profile obtained from each sample was consistent with Randy Earl Smith,” police wrote in the warrant.

Smith was also charged by authorities with obtaining another person’s identification to avoid prosecution. Las Vegas Justice Court records show a preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 20.

An attorney with the Clark County Public Defender’s office has been appointed to represent Smith.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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