Rockwell man charged with rape of mentally disabled woman

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó A Rockwell man has been charged with seven felony sex charges involving a group home resident.
Merritt Cornelius Banks, 52, of 204 Tryon Road, Rockwell, was charged Wednesday afternoon with four counts of second-degree rape and three counts of second-degree sexual offense.
China Grove Police Chief Hodge Coffield said the investigation began in December when the manager of a group home complained about Banks having repeated contact with a 47-year-old mentally disabled woman.
She is a resident of a group home in China Grove operated by Cabarrus Group Homes.
Coffield said police interviewed the woman, who supplied information.
Sgt. E.C. Howard went to Banks’ home in Rockwell on Tuesday. Banks was interviewed at the police department.
Coffield said police consulted with the District Attorney’s Office before filing the charges.
Banks was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under $100,000 bond. His first appearance hearing is set for today in Rowan County District Court.