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Man convicted of sex crimes and false imprisonment

8:38 PM, Dec 9, 2012   |    comments
(Photo: Florida State Attorney's Office handout)
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 48-year-old man was convicted Friday for multiple sex crimes and false imprisonment among other charges at the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida in Jacksonville.

Ernest Albert Rankin, of Jacksonville, was convicted of two counts of second degree sexual battery, one count of false imprisonment, grand theft auto and misdemeanor battery, according Jackelyn Barnard with the State Attorney's Office.

The State Attorney's Office says he faces over 41 years in prison.

Rankin attacked a 32-year-old woman by beating her and forcing her to have sex with him, said Barnard. He held the victim against her will for 24 hours.

When Rankin stole the woman's car and left the area, she was finally able to call the police for help.

"Justice has been served in this case. Our brave victim faced her attacker in court and relived this nightmare so that this defendant cannot hurt anyone else," said Assistant State Attorney Stacie French. "Our hope is this guilty verdict will help in the healing process."

Rankin's case was prosecuted by French and Assistant State Attorney Erin Perry. He is to be sentenced the week of January 22, 2013.

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