Teenage rape suspect allegedly ‘ripped out tooth’ of previous victim as ‘trophy,’ prosecutors say

Terry Berger Smith, now 15, is being charged as an adult for Hollywood rape

A now 15-year-old accused of raping a woman in Hollywood as she walked to work as a prior history of violence, prosecutors say.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A rape suspect who turned 15 earlier this month is now being charged as an adult in the case, jail records show.

Terry Berger Smith, who turned 15 on Aug. 1, was booked into the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach on Thursday.

He is charged with four counts of sexual battery and one count of kidnapping.

Police said the sexual battery occurred around 3:50 a.m. June 10 in Hollywood.

According to authorities, the victim, whose age has not been released, was walking to her job when she was attacked and raped by the teen in the 300 block of South Park Road.

Smith’s arrest affidavit states that he told the victim that he had been watching her and that he wanted to add her to his “collection.”

Prosecutors stated in court on Friday that Berger Smith, at 12 years old, had attempted to rape a woman at knifepoint in the state of New York. They said in the process of the attempted rape, he “ripped out the victim’s tooth and kept it as a trophy.”

In the Hollywood case, prosecutors say Berger Smith stomped on the victim and repeatedly raped her, livestreaming part of the attack to his friend.

He also told the victim that he had a sexually transmitted disease, authorities said.

At the time, the teen was wearing a sweatshirt, shorts and a blue mask.

According to a news release from the office of Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor, it was decided to charge Smith as an adult due to the nature of the crime, his prior violent criminal history and the fact that he was recently released from a juvenile detention facility in New York.

Prosecutors say Florida’s juvenile justice system would allow for only a maximum of up to three years in a juvenile facility for Smith, followed by supervision through age 21.

“I have to prioritize the safety of the community and make these kinds of decisions after reviewing all of the evidence and circumstances,” Pryor said in a statement Friday. “This person already went through the juvenile system in New York for a very disturbing violent incident and was committed to a juvenile facility there for 18 months. Upon release, he relocated to Broward County.”

That “disturbing violent incident” where Berger Smith was a codefendant, according to prosecutors, was a robbery in New York State where the victim was viciously beaten.

His attorney, Jim Lewis, disagreed with charging Berger Smith as an adult.

“If he was smaller and some little kid in Weston, would we really be here now? I don’t think so,” Lewis said.

Hollywood police confirmed to Local 10 News that they are investigating another case from May involving the same suspect and a different victim. The circumstances surrounding that case have not been released.

Smith is currently being held without bond.


About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.