Solicitor: Revamped GPS tracking system facing roadblock - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Solicitor: Revamped GPS tracking system facing roadblock

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Solicitor Scarlett Wilson Solicitor Scarlett Wilson
GPS ankle monitor GPS ankle monitor

By Nikki Gaskins
ngaskins@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A judge on Monday sentenced a Moncks Corner man to 25 years in prison for raping a woman while she tried to sleep.

According to investigators, what's more troubling is that Brendan Bannister committed the crime while wearing a GPS ankle monitor for a completely different charge — indecent exposure.

Ninth Circuit Court Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said this is yet another case that "highlights the sham of electronic monitoring." For months now she's been on mission to revamp the flawed system.

"When you have people (bail bonding companies) with a vested interest in keeping these people out on bond and making money with them being out on bond, they're not as motivated to report them when there are violations," said Wilson.

In November, Wilson's office met with the state Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon with  plans to have the agency take over the GPS tracking system for the Ninth Circuit.

"The reason we thought that was such a great idea is because they are already set up to monitor sexually violent predators throughout the state," said Wilson. "That was one of the beauties of going with them, we thought, was that we wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel."

But Wilson admits, lately, her office has encountered a bit of a roadblock with the agency.

"It's been a little frustrating trying to get something from them," she stated. "They have budget cuts like everybody else, and I know they are severely understaffed but we need to get rolling on this."

Wilson says it will obviously cost money for the agency to take over the tracking system. While it won't cost taxpayers anything, she says she's waiting for the agency to provide her with a price quote for the service.

"It'll be a fee charged to a person who's out on bond, but it will go to Probation, Parole, and Pardon to help cover their costs in doing the monitoring," said Wilson.

Wilson says she may have to soon resort to a backup plan.

"My position is we give them a few more days or weeks and then we move on. We might have to go back into the private industry, but it will be certainly tighter than before," she said.

The department of probation has not responded to requests for comment.


  • Nikki Gaskins

    Email: ngaskins@abcnews4.com
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