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Woman Recants Story of Captivity in Attic; Charges Move Forward

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Stephanie Vatz, Online Manager
Published On: Dec 06 2012 04:17:19 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 07 2012 11:25:27 AM CST
OROVILLE, Calif. -

The Oroville woman who deputies said had been held against her will in an attic and was sexually assaulted, recanted her story on Thursday according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

Butte County deputies made a welfare check on the woman in the 4600-block of Lincoln Boulevard in Oroville about 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

At the address where they were performing the welfare check, they found the woman's ex-husband, 29-year-old Lawson Rankin, who denied knowing the location of the woman. There, officers noticed the kitchen had wet dry wall.

Deputies broke the dry wall seal and found the Rankin's ex-wife in the attic. Her name is not being released but deputies reported that she had minor injuries, allegedly at the hands of Rankin.

Now, deputies say that the woman is recanting her story. She is now saying that she was not being held against her will.

According to Ramsey, the charges against Rankin have not been dropped. Ramsey said there have been three separate prior cases of domestic violence against Rankin involving his ex-wife.

Butte deputies said Rankin had a restraining order issued against him earlier this year. Rankin is currently being held in the Butte County Jail without bail on several charges including: parole violation, torture, false imprisonment, domestic battery and spousal rape, among others.

Rankin is a registered sex offender.