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Group to protest lenient sentences for sexual offenders tomorrow at Marc Westbrook Judicial Center

Lexington, SC 04/14/2023 (Paul Kirby) – On Saturday, April 15, 2023, a group will protest at the Lexington County Judicial Center to advocate for tougher sentencing penalties for sex offenders. The protest will begin at 11:00 a.m. and continue until 3:00 p.m. at the Marc H. Westbrook building which is located at the intersection of Lake and Main Streets in downtown Lexington.


This protest was sparked by the sentences handed down for Daniel Newbanks of Irmo. Newbanks was arrested on June 18, 2020, and charged with 7 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor 3rd degree, and 1 count of Criminal Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit a Minor in the 1st degree.


Newbanks was first indicted and charged in Richland County. In August of 2020, a new victim came forward after his arrest and advised law enforcement that he had also perpetrated sexual crimes against her in Lexington County. After further investigation by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Newbanks was charged with Criminal Sexual Misconduct of a Minor under the age of 11. He was indicted in Lexington County on this charge.


SC Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office took on all these cases to prosecute. After Newbanks spent 18 months in the Alvin, S Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, he was given bond with extensive restrictions. Jennifer Graham, one of the organizers of this event, alleges that Newbanks violated those restrictions daily.

According to Graham, Attorney General Wilson’s office entered into a plea bargain that allowed Newbanks to plead guilty to assault and battery, “involving the touching of a 9-year-old minor in a sexual manner.” This plea was read into the record by Judge McCaslin during Newbank’s plea hearing.


Newbanks also pleaded guilty to Criminal Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit a Minor in the 1st degree. According to Graham, this was done with the understanding that the other 7 charges would be dropped.


The plea bargain allowed Newbanks to be sentenced to 15 years in prison, which is what the Assistant Attorney General and Investigator Kelly Mountzouros and the minor victim asked the judge to sentence Newbanks too. Instead, Judge McCaslin sentenced Newbanks to just 3 years, giving him credit for time served while in county jail. He was also sentenced to 10 years that were suspended and five years’ probation. During his probation, he will be under strict restrictions the first year, according to Graham.


Graham said that the group tomorrow will be protesting for mandatory minimum sentencing for sexual abusers and predators regardless. These changes would require an act of the SC General Assembly. They are asking for these tougher guidelines and mandatory sentences whether the perpetrator enters a plea deal, or a jury returns a verdict.


Everyone is invited to this event and encouraged to attend. Bring comfortable clothes and be prepared to protest peacefully in hopes that law makers will take note of this “travesty of justice”.


According to Graham, “We are standing up to be heard. This minor was brave enough to stand and be heard in front of a court room filled with people she loved, and tons of strangers, telling the most intimate and intrusive details of the most traumatic experience of her life. She inspires us to speak up FOR HER this time!”


For more information about this event, go to their Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/s/protest-for-harsher-sentences-/954376705990628/?mibextid=RQdjqZ


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