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Police looking for sex offender with underground dungeon in S.C.

Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C.- Authorities were looking for a convicted sex offender who police said raped two teens in an underground room behind his home.

Kenneth G. Hinson, 47, took the two 17-year-old girls one at a time from a mobile home next door while they were sleeping Monday evening, Darlington County Chief Deputy Tom Gainey said.

He bound the first girl's mouth with tape and took her to a shed on his property. In the floor was a trap door that led to an underground room not much larger than a closet with a 4-foot ceiling, Gainey said.

Hinson sexually assaulted the girl, then left her in the underground room bound with duct tape while he went back to the mobile home next door and took the other girl. She was also sexually assaulted, Gainey said.

Hinson then left. The teens managed to wriggle free, opening the trap door and kicking down the door to the shed. They walked through some woods and flagged down a passing motorist, Gainey said.

Gainey said he did not know if the two teens were related.

Hinson is wanted on kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct charges. He had to register as a sex offender because of a 1991 conviction in South Carolina for second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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