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Pageant contestant: Rape suspect ‘started intimidating me’ because I had evidence

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, March 2, 2013 18:17 EDT
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Victoria Kinney on Sean Patrick Banks case
 
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A woman who allegedly made contact with a rape suspect on a Christian dating site told KNBC-TV on Friday that the man wanted her to keep quiet if police contacted her.

“He was aware that I had evidence,” said Victoria Kinney. “He started intimidating me from that point not to talk to police.”

The suspect, 37-year-old Sean Patrick Banks, was arrested on Feb. 11 and charged with forcible rape and residential burglary for allegedly attacking a woman he met through Christian Mingle in November 2012. Banks pleaded not guilty and was released on $500,000 bail.

However, KGTV-TV reported on Friday that Banks was placed into custody without bail on Friday on charges of both allegedly threatening Kinney and for the 2009 rape of another woman while she was drunk. A San Diego Superior Court Judge approved a protective order on Kinney’s behalf, prohibiting Banks from having contact with her or coming within 100 yards of her.

Kinney, who competed in the 2012 Miss California pageant, said she also met Banks on Christian Mingle. Her attorney, Daniel Gilleon, said the suspect used an alias during their communications.

At one point, Kinney said to KGTV, she and Banks discussed a possible lunch meeting, which she delayed due to schedule conflicts. But she said Banks called her and told her about the initial rape charges before they ever met in person.

Gilleon told ABC News that Banks ordered Kinney “to first tell him” if authorities contacted her, and that she not speak to them.

“I started crying hysterically because I realized how close to something horrible that I had come,” she said.

Banks’ attorneys, Gretchen von Helms and Jan Ronis, said they had no time to prepare a defense against the latest charges against him.

“This young man — he’s a Ph.D. candidate,” von Helms said. “He’s a college graduate. He served in the military. There are a lot of good factors about him that will come to light as we proceed in this case.”

Banks faces 44 years to life in prison if convicted of all the charges against him. He is due back in court on March 6 for a felony bail review, with his preliminary hearing scheduled for March 26.

Watch Kinney’s interview with KNBC, aired Friday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
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