Victim sues bond companies for failing to monitor rapist

Brendan Bannister (provided)

By Stacy

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- A woman raped by a man who was out on bond and wearing an ankle monitor has filed suit against the two companies charged with tracking him.{}

The victim filed the lawsuit in Berkeley County against the two bond companies, Hamilton Bonding Company and Robinson Bonding Company, that should have been monitoring Brandon Bannister.

Bannister was on house arrest after being charged with three indecent exposure charges in 2010.

"If the electronic monitoring had been done properly, this wouldn't have happened because he was not at one of the specified locations he could be under bond provisions for house arrest," said the victim's attorney Lionel Lofton.

Last month, Bannister pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the 2011 incident. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Lofton said it wasn't the only time Bannister went to a place where he couldn't go.

"This guy was all over the place. It wasn't just on this one occasion that he was in violation of his bond," he said.

Lofton said his client wanted the bond companies held accountable.

"If you're going to take on the responsibility of ensuring the court and the public that they are protected because they're watching where these individuals are that are under electronic monitoring, then you've got an awesome responsibility. In this case, they didn't fulfill that responsibility," he said.

A representative from Robinson Bonding Company did not have a comment on the pending lawsuit. Hamilton Bonding Company also did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, 25-year-old Brendan Bannister pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree burglary for a 2011 assault in Moncks Corner.

The release states the victim woke up in the early morning hours of March 11, 2011, to find Bannister standing over her wearing dark clothes, gloves and a shirt covering his face. Bannister sexually assaulted her before she was able to escape and call 911, the solicitor's office said.

Police were able to identify Bannister because he dropped his Wal-Mart card at the scene, officials said.

When they traced the card back to him, Moncks Corner police learned Bannister was out on bond for a previous offense and had been wearing an ankle monitor as part of his bond, the solicitor's office said.{}

According to the solicitor's office, detectives were able to track Bannister using GPS and arrested him.