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Woman accused of raping man at knifepoint could be spared jail

A woman accused of raping a man may be spared from prison. Lestina Marie Smith, from Saginaw, Michigan, was 17 when she allegedly raped a 19-year-old man inside his car and threatened him with a knife. The victim said the couple had been dating for around two months in 2016, several months before the incident took place. But he insisted they had split up after Ms Smith hit him. He said he was attacked by Ms Smith on 11 January, after she asked to meet up with him. Ms Smith reportedly filmed the incident. Ms Smith, who is now 18, faced up to life in prison, but may now avoid a prison sentence after pleading “no contest to lesser charges”.

In the US, state law allows a defendant to plea made by a defendant in court when they do not contest a particular criminal charge against them. It is not necessarily an admission of guilt. Ms Smith now faces up to 15 years in prison, but may receive probation and jail time. Ms Smith’s mother, Tanesha Jackson, said her daughter was not a violent person. “I’m not going to believe that my daughter raped him. I’m not going to believe it,” she told local news site MLive.com.

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