Rankin case ends with four-month sentence

CRYSTAL FALLS—Pending an appeal, the prolonged case against former massage therapist Joseph E. Rankin has ended.
    After being found guilty of fourth degree sexual conduct and assault and battery on Dec. 6, Rankin was sentenced to four months in jail on the CSC charge by Judge C. Joseph Schwedler at the sentencing hearing on Jan. 22. Schwedler stayed Rankin’s conviction of assault and battery pending the outcome of any appeal in the matter. Assault and battery is a lesser included crime of criminal sexual conduct.
    Rankin was also placed on two years of probation and will have to register as a sex offender as required by the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act. Schwedler also ordered Rankin to complete a sex offender treatment program and stipulated that Rankin may have work release if his employment complies with the requirements of the sheriff’s office. The judge also gave Rankin credit for two days served and said he must not work in a position involving massage or physical therapy.
    Rankin was convicted of sexually assaulting the female victim at his place of business at the time--Full Circle Fitness and Massage--on Aug. 22, 2016.

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