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Two arraigned for sex crimes

Two men accused of sex crimes were arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Michael Hankins, 29, of 15 Township Road 1405, South Point, was arraigned on one count each of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, voyeurism and attempted burglary. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney,

Derick Fisher.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson asked Judge Charles Cooper to put Hankins on house arrest and continue an $80,000 property bond set in Lawrence County Municipal Court. Anderson said Hankins’ alleged behavior indicates he poses a risk to the community.

“The victim in count one is different from the one victims in the other two counts,” Anderson said.

“And these counts occurred on different dates. The facts of this case are very disturbing. I have great concern in general for the citizens of Lawrence County.”

But Fisher disagreed. He said while he understood Anderson’s point, the charges against his client are more than two months old.

Cooper agreed to the $80,000 bond but did not agree to house arrest. He did order Hankins to refrain from going about his victims. He also set a pretrial for Sept. 19.

In another case, Thomas Rucker, 61, of 1104 S. 10th St., Ironton, was arraigned in five counts of first-degree rape and one count of domestic violence. He entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney, Warren Morford.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith said the victim was a mentally impaired woman and the alleged rapes occurred on three different occasions over a period of several weeks earlier this summer. He asked for the $300,000 bond set in Ironton Municipal Court to continue.

But Morford asked that his client be released on own recognizance bond.

Cooper agreed the municipal court bond could continue and scheduled a pretrial for next Wednesday.