Female teen could face life in prison for rape

Lestina Smith (Source: Saginaw County Jail)

A Mid-Michigan teen could face life in prison for rape.

Lestina Smith, 17, went before a judge on Jan. 17, charged with two counts of felony first degree sex crimes.

Officials said Smith held a 19-year-old Saginaw man at knife-point and forced him to engage in sexual activities earlier this month.

Smith's mother, Tanesha Jackson, said her daughter is not a violent person.

"I've been raped. Like I said, I know what a rape victim goes through and a rape victim isn't going to get back on Facebook or say I miss this person, I love this person, I don't know what to do. You know if somebody really actually hurt you and raped you because it took me a long time to ever forgive mine," Jackson said.

Jackson said she believes the man accusing her daughter of rape is lying.

"She's smaller than me and this young man is large. So I can't understand how you're going to have somebody at knife point rape you," Jackson said.

Jackson said the victim is Smith's boyfriend. She said her daughter did have a knife because she was in fear of her life, but she insisted the weapon was never used during the crime she is charged with.

"I understand she still has to be responsible for the knife. I've never denied that. You know, she told the truth about that. But to say she raped you and let my child go away from me for life," Jackson said.

Jackson is hoping the truth behind the alleged incident comes out and clears her daughter's name.

"If he has any type of God or his mother has God in their hearts, I just pray that they change it and think about what they're doing because you're not just ruining one person's life, you're going to ruin a lot of people's lives," Jackson said.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Jan. 26.

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