Teen on trial for rape, robbery and burglary

Ravell McLaughlin

Ravell McLaughlin, 19, is on trial this week on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree, Kidnapping, Burglary 1st Degree, Armed Robbery, and Larceny.

Deputies say he broke into a home in Bennettsville last December, using a trash can to break into the second level of the home.

While inside, a woman who lived there startled McLaughlin, and he physically and sexually assaulted the victim at knifepoint, according to the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office.

Another resident found McLaughlin in the home, and deputies say McLaughlin ran away.

The Marlboro County Sheriff's Office, Bennettsville police, Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigated evidence found at scene. DNA found at the scene matched McLaughlin's, according to SLED.

During a pre-trial hearing Monday, Assistant Solicitor Shipp Daniels questioned investigators about how they interrogated McLaughlin.

Lieutenant Jamie Seals says McLaughlin was read his Miranda rights and gave statements freely and voluntarily.

He says they never threatened McLaughlin or coerced him to confess to the crime.

McLaughlin also consented to a DNA swab, according to Seals.

A video of McLaughlin's interrogation was played for the judge.

In the video, McLaughlin described to investigators how he got inside the home.

McLaughlin said he saw a girl coming in his direction in the home, so he grabbed a box cutter, according to his statement to investigators.

He went on to tell investigators he asked the girl for some money and she grabbed her pocketbook.

During the videotaped confession, McLaughlin says he tried to have sex with the girl, but a man walked into the room.

McLaughlin tells investigators during the confession he then when he ran out of the home.

The jury will be allowed to hear McLaughlin's confession on the video.

McLaughlin's family tells WPDE NewsChannel 15 that he is not guilty of the charges against him.

They say investigators have ignored evidence that could clear McLaughlin.

The family is hoping a jury will clear him of the charges.

Judge Edward B. Cottingham is presiding over the trial.

Opening statements get underway Tuesday morning.