Prosecutors refuse to drop rape charges even after woman recants her story

Lawson Rankin 
By: Aarav Sen 

(Scroll down for video) A man was charged after police discovered his former wife being held against her will in his attic, according to police reports.

Prosecutors in northern California, said that they plan to proceed with charges against the man accused of holding his former wife hostage in his attic, even though the woman has retracted her story.

Lawson Rankin , 29, of Oroville, California, was arrested this week after sheriff's deputies discovered his former wife trapped behind a wall in the attic of his house. She told deputies that she had been held captive for two weeks, and was repeatedly beaten and raped by Rankin.

The Butte County District Attorney, Mike Ramsey, said that the woman, whose identity has not been released, said Thursday, that she was not held against her will and she will not testify.

When officers went to Rankin’s home to locate his former wife on Monday, he claimed that he did not know where she was, but police officers realized he was covered with drywall mud. The officers saw a wet area with mud and broke the seal to find the woman trapped inside.

The prosecutor said that his office will pursue charges against Rankin, who was arrested on suspicion of torture, rape, kidnapping and other charges.

Ramsey said that there have been three previous incidents of domestic abuse between Rankin and his former wife.

"It is not unusual for victims of domestic violence, who have been seriously injured and are still in love with their abuser, to change their story," Ramsey said. Rankin was booked into the Butte County Jail without bail.



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