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Man gets prison for sexual offenses with disabled woman

Staff report
A Rockwell man has been sentenced to six to eight years in jail for multiple sex offenses involving a mentally disabled woman.
Merritt Cornelius Banks, 52, was initially charged with four counts of second-degree rape and three counts of second-degree sexual offense by the China Grove Police Department.
In March, a manager of a group home in China Grove contacted police complaining that Banks had had repeated contact with the 47-year-old woman. Police began an investigation that led to the charges and a confession from Banks.
According to testimony, Banks climbed in through the window of the group home on four different occasions to have sex with the woman, leaving his truck parked down the street.
Banks had met the woman at a vocational rehabilitation program where his wife was also participant.
Banks pled guilty on Nov. 13 in Rowan County Superior Court to multiple sex offenses and was sentenced to an active sentence of between 73 months and 97 months in prison.

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