Rapist given 25-year prison term

Leslie Twyman

WALTERBORO -- A 40-year-old man who raped a mentally disabled women in August was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday.

After a three-day trial in Colleton County General Sessions Court, Leslie Twyman of David Street was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to a news release from the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Twyman lured the 18-year-old woman into a home he was staying in and raped her. When the victim returned home, her mother immediately recognized something was wrong and called relatives and the Colleton County Sheriff's Office.

"He could not have picked a more defenseless victim," said Assistant Solicitor Ben Shelton, who prosecuted the case, "but she had the courage to take the stand and tell her story."

The woman -- who also has a speech impediment -- identified Twyman as her attacker and provided details about the rape that were consistent with forensic and medical evidence.

At times, she wrote out her testimony because the court had difficulty understanding her.

"She was very brave," Shelton said. "It is heartening to see justice served on behalf of the most vulnerable among us."

Twyman had recently moved to Walterboro from New York and was staying with a neighbor of the victim. He has at least 15 prior convictions in New York, most relating to drugs and thefts, the release said.

Circuit Judge Perry M. Buckner handed down the sentence.