Man sentenced to 25 years for raping mentally disabled woman

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A Walterboro man was convicted on Wednesday for the August 2010 rape of a mentally disabled woman and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

At the conclusion of a three-day trial, jurors found 40-year-old Leslie Twyman guilty of both first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct for luring the 18-year-old woman into a home he was staying in and raping her.

When the victim returned home, her mother immediately recognized something was wrong and called relatives and the Colleton County Sheriff's Office.

"He could not have picked a more defenseless victim," said assistant solicitor Ben Shelton, who prosecuted the case, "But she had the courage to take the stand and tell her story."

The woman identified Twyman as her attacker and provided details about the rape that were consistent with forensic and medical evidence.

"She was very brave," Shelton said. "It is heartening to see justice served on behalf of the most vulnerable among us."

Twyman had recently moved to Walterboro from New York and was staying with a neighbor of the victim. He has at least 15 prior convictions in New York, most relating to drugs and thefts.

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