Red Bank area man gets 20 years in prison for rape, kidnapping and armed robbery

Lexington, SC 3/19/2022 (Paul Kirby) – A man from the Red Bank area of ​​Lexington County was convicted last week by a Lexington County jury of first degree felony sexual conduct, kidnapping and robbery. armed hand. Chief Administrative Judge Debra R. McCaslin presided over the trial of that case and ultimately sentenced 54-year-old Samuel Earnest Aaron to 20 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Under South Carolina law, first-degree felony sexual conduct and kidnapping charges carry a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison and are classified as violent and most serious offenses. The armed robbery charge carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison and is classified as a crime of violence. Aaron will not be eligible for parole and will have to register as a sex offender.

On January 9, 2020, the victim was dropped off at a county building by someone picking up papers that morning. As he walked to another county building in the city of Lexington, Aaron saw the victim and offered to drive her in his van. He explained that he was going in the same direction. He dropped the victim off at the second county building but instead of leaving he waited outside. When the victim came out, she saw that Aaron was still there. He then offered to drive her home since the victim did not have a car.

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After leaving the building, instead of driving her home, Aaron drove the victim to a secluded area near Bluefield Road in the Red Bank area of ​​Lexington County. He then pulled her out of the vehicle and sexually assaulted her. Before leaving the victim, Aaron stole the victim’s rings and physically assaulted her. Once Aaron left, the victim was able to call law enforcement and immediately reported that she had been raped and robbed.

The Lexington County Sheriff‘s Department investigated the case. The victim was able to provide a partial license plate number and a description of the vehicle. Detectives were able to review hours of surveillance footage from local businesses as well as thousands of Department of Motor Vehicle records. Law enforcement was eventually able to identify Aaron as a suspect. At that time, detectives presented the victim with a series of photos and she was able to positively identify Aaron as the person who raped and robbed her.

On February 5, 2020, detectives went to Aaron’s home to arrest him. Detectives located the victim’s stolen rings on the hands of Aaron’s girlfriend. Aaron’s girlfriend reported to law enforcement that Aaron gave her the rings about three to four weeks prior, around the time they were stolen from the victim after the rape.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney Ashley Wellman and Assistant Attorney Shawn Graham of the Eleventh Circuit Attorney’s Office. Assistant Attorney Wellman said, “This conviction would not have been possible without the diligent and faithful investigation of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Unit, and the incredible bravery and unyielding strength of the victim. For anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, this victim is a beacon of hope and a reminder that other victims need not shut up out of fear or shame.

Aaron has a criminal history that includes criminal domestic violence and driving under the influence. Aaron will be transported to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to serve his sentence.

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