West Ashley man accused of leaving passenger in wrecked car, having sex with minor

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 6:41 p.m., Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013 8:59 a.m.
Ronald David Ratliff of West Ashley is charged with leaving the scene of accident with injuries and a separate incident of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

A West Ashley man is accused of walking away from a wreck with a seriously injured woman inside, then of having sex with a 15-year-old several weeks later.

Ronald David Ratliff Jr., 24, of Debbenshire Drive is charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The two cases are not related, although Ratliff was up for a bond hearing on both cases Wednesday.

Ratliff sped out of a parking lot at Coming and Cannon streets and hit a tree about 11:25 p.m. Oct. 27, according to a Charleston police affidavit. The woman who was riding with him sustained a head injury with permanent brain damage, a compound broken left arm, a dislocated left hip and a broken pelvis, according to police. Ratliff failed to help her and left the scene before officers arrived, according to the affidavit.

The woman was in bond court Wednesday with her left hand in a cast, her left foot in a brace and hobbling on crutches.

"In my heart he left me there to die," she told Judge Linda Lombard.

Ratliff told Lombard the wreck was the woman's fault before Lombard told him to be quiet.

Lombard also pointed out that Ratliff was cited with a probation violation in July. He told her he was on probation for distribution of cocaine but didn't do drugs anymore. She set his bail at $50,000 on the two most recent charges.

Ratliff also faces municipal charges of second-offense driving under suspension and reckless driving.

The criminal sex charge follows an allegation that he had sex Dec. 14 with a 15-year-old he had been dating for several weeks. She told him she was only 15 and he responded, "Don't get me locked up," according to the affidavit. Investigators said Ratliff's mother had also advised him to stay away from the girl because she was too young.

Ratliff's father was in the news almost three years ago. In January 2011, Ronald David Ratliff shot and killed his mother-in-law, according to investigators. Then he went and hid in the attic of his estranged wife's house in West Ashley for three days until she got home. He shot and wounded her from the attic, then fatally shot himself.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.

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