Man convicted in sex crime, false imprisonment

Prosecutors argued Rankin held 32-year-old woman against her will for 24 hours

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man has been found guilty of attacking a woman and forcing her to have sex with him, according to authorities.

The state's attorney's office said Ernest Albert Rankin, 48, was convicted late Friday evening on two counts of second degree sexual battery, one count of false imprisonment, grand theft auto and misdemeanor battery.

In April 2011, Rankin attacked a 32-year-old woman by beating her and forcing her to have sex with him, authorities said. The prosecution said Rankin then held the woman against her will for 24 hours. When Rankin stole the victim's car and left the area, the victim was able to call the police for help, authorities said.

"Justice has been served in this case. Our brave victim faced her attacker in court and relived this nightmare so that this Defendant cannot hurt anyone else. Our hope is this guilty verdict will help in the healing process," said Assistant State Attorney Stacie French.

ASA Erin Perry also prosecuted the case.

Rankin faces 41.5 years in prison. He will be sentenced the week of January 22, 2013.

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