NEWS

Lexington County man 20 year sentence for West Columbia child sexual assault

Donnie Rankin, 49, pled guilty in Lexington County this week to two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Second Degree.  The Honorable Walton J. McLeod, IV, Eleventh Circuit Chief Administrative Judge, sentenced Rankin to the maximum of 20 years in prison. Under South Carolina law, Rankin is not eligible for parole and must register as a sex offender. 

Donnie Rankin

On August 30, 2020, the West Columbia Police Department received a report regarding the ongoing sexual abuse of two minor children.  During the investigation, it was discovered that Rankin had committed multiple acts of sexual battery against the victims during the timeframe of 2012 through 2013. Ultimately, Rankin made certain admissions to law enforcement regarding some of the allegations. 

Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated, “Our office works tirelessly with our law enforcement and investigative partners to prosecute these cases aggressively and ensure that victims feel safe in reporting.” 

This case was prosecuted by Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Ashley Wellman. The investigation was led by Inv. Maggie Suber of the West Columbia Police Department. Assistant Solicitor Wellman stated, “child sexual assault victims often don’t come forward out of fear or shame. This sentence sends a strong message that offenders will not be allowed to use those tactics to keep victims silent.”

Rankin will be transported to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of the sentence.