Accused serial rapist in two states pleads guilty in Hamilton County

Accused serial rapist in two states pleads guilty in Hamilton County
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 6:14 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 7:45 AM EST
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CINCINNATI, Ohio (WXIX) - A serial rapist accused of terrorizing women and girls in two states for more than three decades will spend 19 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of rape in a Hamilton County courtroom.

William Blankenship, 58, was indicted in Hamilton County in 2020 on 11 total charges: four counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of gross sexual imposition and three counts of burglary. With the plea deal, the remaining eight charges were dismissed.

Prosecutors say DNA proves Blankenship broke into three homes in the Mt. Washington/Anderson Township area within a two-mile radius of each other between 1999 and 2001 and raped three separate females.

In one of the cases, he is charged with dragging a 14-year-old girl from a backyard tent sleepover with friends and raping her in a field nearby.

Two of Blankenship’s victims spoke during his sentencing hearing.

“I knew at 10 years old what happened to me was so horrible I had to tell someone,” one of them said.

Both victims say in the years since they were assaulted they have had trouble sleeping and trusting others.

Experts said in court the DNA evidence was so strong in two of the three rape cases that if Blankenship’s case had gone to a jury trial he would have been found guilty and more than likely would have spent the rest of his life behind bars.

Blankenship will now be extradited back to Kentucky to face charges there.

DNA testing also led to Blankenship being charged in northern Kentucky’s Campbell County with raping women and girls dating back more than 30 years ago to 1987.

Campbell County Commonwealth Prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass told FOX19 NOW in 2001 they reviewed more than 30 years of unsolved rape cases to see if Blankenship was connected to any of them.

“He’s been committing horrific crimes in our communities for decades. It’s horrible,” she said.

Blankenship is currently charged in a 26-count indictment with rape, sodomy, kidnapping, burglary, unlawful transactions with a minor and sexual abuse.

Half of the six victims were juveniles - one was 14 and the other two were 12 - and most of them did not know Blankenship, according to Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney Michelle Snodgrass.

Similar to the rape allegations in Ohio, Blankenship is accused of breaking into five Kentucky homes to get to his victims.

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