Charges reduced for State St. sexual assault suspect

Jury selection for his case is scheduled for next Monday, with a three-day trial slated to begin the following day.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 12:59 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 9:19 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – With a week to go until the trial begins for the suspect in a sexual assault on State St., a Dane Co. court signed off on the prosecutors move to reduce one of the charges against him, while eliminating the other one altogether.

The Dane Co. District Attorney’s Office asked the court last Wednesday to add a charge of second-degree sexual assault against Ivan Smart for the July 24 attack. Smart, 22, was originally facing a count of first-degree sexual assault and false imprisonment.

Jury selection for his case is scheduled for next Monday, with a three-day trial slated to begin the following day. If convicted on the new charge, he could be sentenced to as many as forty years in prison.

In his filing, Assistant District Attorney John Rice did not indicate the reason for switching to the lesser charge, only telling the court that the new one had been added. The previous two charges no longer appear on court records for Smart and are reflected in the case history as being replaced.

According to the original criminal complaint, the victim told officers that she was leaving a bar on State Street with her friends around 2:30 a.m. that morning and decided to call a rideshare option instead of walking home. The woman waited under an awning in the 500 block of State Street when she was approached by two men.

The complaint alleges that the two men spoke to her “inappropriately in a sexual manner” and began groping her. She told police that she remembered walking somewhere with the two suspects and then was taken to the back of an SUV-type vehicle, according to the complaint.

One of the men was driving the vehicle and the other suspect, Smart, pinned her down and assaulted her, the complaint alleges. The woman stated that she pushed or punched the suspect.

According to the complaint, the woman said she continued to struggle, and the driver started to “freak out.” He eventually pulled over and stopped the vehicle, at which time the woman was able to escape.

The victim was able to find a couple sitting on a porch nearby who helped her find her friends, she recalled in the complaint.

The next day, an officer reviewing surveillance photos of the two suspects from a nearby business recognized Smart as someone who he had interacted with before and said he goes to State Street often.

The woman met with police again on July 26 and told them that she had asked the men to let her out of the vehicle and both said “No.” Police presented six photographs to the woman as potential suspects. The complaint recalled that the woman looked at one of the photos for longer than the others, which police later identified as Smart’s, and said “those eyes... I remember he had a scary look on his face....”

The complaint states that she did not make a final identification but said the photo of Smart and one other were the most likely matches for the suspect.

The complaint did not identify the other suspect allegedly involved.

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