WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators say a 28-year-old man broke into a West Ashley home and sexually assaulted a woman for approximately two hours.
The Charleston Police Department arrested Filiciano Smith on Thursday for the incident at the Old Windermere neighborhood and charged him with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree burglary, kidnapping and unlawful carrying of a firearm.
Smith was in bond court Friday afternoon and denied any involvement in the incident.
"I'm not guilty of no charges," he said.
Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen announced Smith's arrest during a press conference Friday afternoon.
"We've clearly had a significant presence working on this case because of the fact this is a stranger rape," Mullen said. "We are very fortunate in the city, we don't have a lot of stranger rapes and obviously when they do occur they are very serious to us and we take them to heart because we want to make sure we are protecting our community."
Court records released on Friday state the victim was sleeping in her bed at her home on Chadwick Drive in the early morning hours of May 22 when she woke up to a bright flashlight which was shining in her face.
According to authorities, a man then told the woman, "Don't open your eyes...I'll kill you...I have a gun..."
Investigators say the man used a cord and bound the victim's hands behind her back which incapacitated her and prevented her from escaping.
An affidavit states the man sexually assault the victim for two hours and stole $30 before leaving the home.
The victim wasn't in court Friday, but investigators spoke on her behalf.
"The victim has been a true trooper in this whole thing," Mullen said. "She has been a tremendous help to us."
Authorities say forensic technicians identified and collected multiple items of evidence including blood samples which led to DNA which was given to the Richland County Sheriff's Office for analysis. The analysis concluded the DNA found at the home was a match for Smith's.
Mullen said for the first time ever with CPD, the forensic team used an "M-Vac System" to collect evidence.
"This is another opportunity and a clear indication of how detective work, and investigative skill integrate with technology, to allow us to provide a better service for our community," he said.
According to the company website, the equipment can capture more DNA materials than other traditional methods like swabbing from clothing or hard surfaces.
However, Smith thinks otherwise regarding the evidence collected.
"You have no evidence against me at all," he said in court.
On Thursday afternoon, officers reported seeing Smith leaving the front door of his last known address on America Street and get onto a bicycle.
Officers then made contact with the suspect and arrested him. Police say Smith was armed with a pistol loaded with a magazine which contained four rounds.
Since the incident was reported, detectives and crime scene technicians have been processing the crime scene, canvassing the neighborhood for evidence, and conducting proactive patrols throughout the area.
"No house break-ins. Definitely no sexual assaults that we know of. I think it's a shock to everybody," she said.
A judge did not set bond for Smith's criminal sexual conduct, burglary, and kidnapping charges. A circuit court judge decides on a bond in the future if a court date is held. Smith was given a $50,000 surety bond for the gun charge.