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Red Bank area man gets 20 years for rape, Kidnapping and Strong-Armed Robbery

Lexington, SC 03/19/2022 (Paul Kirby) - A man from the Red Bank area of Lexington County was convicted last week by a Lexington County jury of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree, Kidnapping, and Strong-Arm Robbery. Chief Administrative Judge Debra R. McCaslin presided over the trial of this case and ultimately sentenced Samuel Earnest Aaron, age 54, to 20 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Under South Carolina law, the criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and kidnapping charges both carry a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison and are classified as violent, most serious offenses. The strong arm 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 be required to register as a sex offender.

On January 9, 2020, the victim was dropped off at a county building by someone to pick up paperwork that morning. While walking to another county building within the town of Lexington, Aaron saw the victim and offered her a ride in his van. He explained that he was heading in the same direction. He did drop 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 give her a ride home since the victim did not have a car.

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After leaving the building, instead of taking her home, Aaron drove the victim to a secluded area off 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 drove away, the victim was able to call law enforcement and immediately reported that she was raped and robbed.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department handled the investigation of this case. The victim was able to provide a partial license plate number and vehicle description. Detectives were able to review hours of surveillance videos from local businesses along with thousands of records from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Law enforcement was eventually able to identify Aaron as a suspect. At that point, detectives presented a photo lineup to the victim 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, which was around the time they were stolen from the victim following the rape.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Ashley Wellman and Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Assistant Solicitor Wellman stated, “This conviction would not have been possible if not for the diligent and faithful investigation of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crime Unit, and the incredible bravery and unyielding strength of the victim. For anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault, this victim is a symbol of hope and a reminder that other victims do not need to stay quiet out of fear or shame.”

Aaron has a prior 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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