Man gets 25 years in rape



A Berkeley County man received a 25-year prison sentence Monday after pleading guilty to breaking into a Moncks Corner woman’s home and raping her while he was on satellite monitoring.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Brandon Bannister, 25, of Moncks Corner pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree burglary.

Judge J.C. Nicholson Jr. imposed the sentence, and Bannister must serve 85 percent of his time before he is eligible for parole.

In the early morning hours of March 11, 2011, the victim, woke in her bedroom to find a stranger standing over her wearing dark clothing, latex gloves and a black shirt covering his face, Wilson said.

The intruder, later determined to be Bannister, sexually assaulted the woman before she escaped and dialed 911 as he ran off, Wilson said.

Although the victim was unable to identify her attacker, he dropped his Wal-Mart card at the scene, revealing his name, Wilson said. Moncks Corner police determined Bannister was out on bond for a previous offense and was wearing an ankle bracelet with a GPS satellite monitoring device, she said.

Once detectives discovered Bannister was subject to GPS monitoring, they were able to locate and arrest him immediately, Wilson said. Subsequent satellite monitoring reports confirmed he was at the crime scene at the time of the assault, she said.

“This is yet another case that highlights the sham of electronic monitoring and the reason I moved to halt this sort of monitoring,” Wilson said. “This defendant was on bond for indecent exposure, which then escalated to full-blown rape while being monitored. Nobody was notified that this guy was out and about at a time when he was supposed to be under house arrest.”

Wilson has been pushing for better oversight of electronic and satellite monitoring after several offenders were found freely roaming the streets around Charleston while they were supposed to be on house arrest.

Circuit Judge Stephanie McDonald presided over hearings on the subject and has vowed to penalize companies that don’t closely monitor and report criminal defendants’ whereabouts after they are released from jail with electronic trackers.

In early September, McDonald imposed a moratorium on placing more defendants on electronic monitoring while officials discuss what to do about the system she dubbed “a mess.”

The moratorium marks the second time in six years authorities have suspended placements due to concerns that offenders released from jail to monitoring aren’t being properly supervised.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556