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Lexington County man convicted in robbery and rape case

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Eleventh Circuit Attorney Rick Hubbard announced on Friday the sentencing of a Lexington County man in a rape case. Samuel Earnest Aaron, 54, was found guilty by a jury of first degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and armed robbery. Judge Debra R. McCaslin sentenced Aaron to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors said on the morning of January 9, 2020, Aaron saw his victim after being dropped off at a county building to retrieve documents. He offered the woman a ride in his van as she headed across the county on foot, saying he was heading in the same direction.

After being dropped off at the second building, the woman saw that he was still outside when it was time to leave. Prosecutors said he offered to drive her home before taking her to a secluded location on Bluefield Rd. There she was sexually assaulted by Aaron and stripped of her rings. She then called law enforcement and immediately reported the assault and theft.

The woman was able to provide a partial license plate number and description of the vehicle. Investigators from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department were able to review surveillance video from nearby businesses and Department of Motor Vehicle records. Aaron was identified as a suspect and later identified by the victim in a series of photos.

When detectives went to arrest Aaron at his home on February 5, 2020, the victim’s rings were found on his girlfriend. She reported that Aaron had given them to her several weeks earlier, which was around the time of the reported assault. Aaron has a criminal history, including domestic violence and driving under the influence.

Assistant Attorney Ashley Wellman said: ‘This sentencing would not have been possible without the diligent and faithful investigation of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s 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 is not eligible for parole and must register as a sex offender.

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