(CBS DETROIT) — A Benton Harbor man has been charged with sexual assault, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.

Kraig Smith, 48, was arraigned in the 5th District Court in Berrien County Wednesday on four charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Each count is a felony punishable by up to life in prison.

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An investigation began in May 2020 when Erin Smith reported that her husband had sexually assaulted her hundreds of times throughout their 13-year marriage.

Nessel said, “Coercive assault can take place in any setting; even in a marriage.”

“An individual should feel safe in their home with their partner. I hope this case encourages public awareness of coercive assault and makes clear that assault by a domestic partner is a crime that will be prosecuted,” said Nessel.

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Officials say Erin Smith reported that the assaults began after her marriage to Kraig Smith in December 2006.

She alleges that she was repeatedly emotionally, verbally, and sexually abused by her husband throughout the marriage and that he threatened her and their children multiple times.

A preliminary examination has been scheduled for April 27, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. in front of Judge Gary J. Bruce.

Kraig Smith has been issued a $20,000 bond and is currently in jail.

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