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Auburn man arrested on rape charges

Friend reported alleged crime to police
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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An Auburn man charged with forcible rape is free from jail days after being arrested. Dustin Joshua Rankin, 31, was arrested Thursday on three felony charges including rape by force or fear, sexual penetration with a foreign object using force and sexual battery. He was released from jail as of Monday on his own recognizance, according to jail records. Detective Scott Alford with the Auburn Police Department said Rankin was arrested a few days after the alleged crime occurred on Oct. 17. “The victim reported it to a friend, who contacted us,” Alford said. “We began our investigation from there.” Alford said Rankin and the victim, a 23-year-old female, were acquaintances and part of a group that was at a local bar the night of the alleged assault. Alford said the crime occurred outdoors but there were no direct witnesses. Alford added “although alcohol may be a contributing factor, none of the involved parties claim to have been heavily intoxicated at the time.” Alford said police first spoke with Rankin at his home and he agreed to come to the station for an interview. “He was cooperative, he participated in an interview and following the interview, based on the evidence discovered during the investigation, I found probable cause and arrested him for the charges of rape and sexual battery,” Alford said. DNA evidence “could potentially be used in this case,” Alford said. Rankin was named Sierra College’s Outstanding Arts Student of the Year in 2003, according to the November/December 2004 “Perspectives” Arts Newsmagazine & Calendar of Events out by the Arts Council of Placer County. A profile about Rankin says he grew up attending Rock Creek Elementary and graduated from Placer High School. The story said Rankin was in a “disastrous” car accident when he was 2 years old and the injuries from that have impacted his physical and mental abilities throughout his life. Attempts to reach Rankin were unsuccessful as of press time. The victim was put in touch with local victim assistance groups including Pease for Families. He said it’s important that difficult cases such as these are reported. “There are many cases where (the victims) don’t report the assault for whatever reason – embarrassment, they don’t want to deal with the legal system – but it is very important for victims to report this type of crime,” Alford said. “If they don’t report it, there’s always the risk of the offender continuing to offend if they get away with it.” Reach Jenifer Gee at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.