Del Mar man gets 37-year sentence for raping women from dating sites

Del Mar man sentenced for raping women he met on Christian.Mingle and Match.com

A Del Mar man was sentenced Friday to 37 years to life in prison for raping two women he met on the dating sites ChristianMingle.com and Match.com.

Sean Banks, 39, a computer technician and former Navy officer, told El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein that he was willing to drop his appeal if one of the victims would take a polygraph test.

Goldstein responded that asking a victim to take a lie detector test showed a lack of remorse. He added that Banks’ statements to La Mesa police showed “his hatred of women.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. David Williams III had asked for a sentence of 68 years to life. Still, Williams said Banks must serve 85% of his 37 years before he'll be eligible for parole.

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred attended the sentencing on behalf of the woman who met Banks through ChristianMingle. Later she blasted Banks' offer about the polygraph test.

“In 39 years of practicing law,” Allred said, “I don’t think I have ever heard a statement more disrespectful to the victim and the jury’s verdict. It’s an ultimate insult of disrespect.”

Allred warned other women “to be aware of the risk of online dating.”

The victim, who is 24 and lives in La Mesa, said: “That night changed my life. Scary people are not just in movies. They are real.”

She added, “I pray for him every day. I pray that he changes.”

During his trial, the woman testified that she met Banks on ChristianMingle because she "believed in God, Scripture, going to church, reading the Bible, and ... wanted someone who had those same interests."

For their first date in October 2012, she testified, she invited Banks to her apartment in La Mesa to watch a movie. He quickly began making physical advances, she said.

"I didn't believe that was happening and I said at the top of my lungs" for him to stop, she said.

Banks did not testify at his trial.

Special correspondent Neal Putnam assisted with this report.

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