Pulaski, TN (WSMV) — Twenty years after a woman helped put her attacker away for years, police said she came forward again to save another.
WSMV-TV would normally never name or show the face of a child rape victim, but Crystal Thompson insisted on it.
“This was not a victimless crime,” Thompson said. “I’m not just another number out here of a case that occurred. I’m a person. It happens to real people.”
At 14, Thompson said she was raped daily, sometimes in a trailer truck, sometimes in a duplex.
It took months for Thompson to work up the courage to come forward and identify her father, Donnie Rolin, as the rapist.
Rolin was sent to prison for 12 1/2 years.
“I spoke to the parole board every hearing,” Thompson said. “I told them this man was not rehabilitated. He would do it again.”
Rolin was eventually released in 2011.
“I couldn’t fight it anymore,” Thompson said. “He had done his time. He served his debt to society, they say.”
But last weekend, Thompson saw Rolin at a convenience store with a 14-year-old girl.
“My gut told me that what he was doing to that child, like he was doing her no different than he’d done me,” she said.
Thompson called the Giles County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators immediately tracked down Rolin. In his wallet, they found a picture of the young girl.
“Not a picture of his wife, not a picture of his grandkids or of his daughter, but a picture of this victim,” Thompson said.
Police said Thompson had just caught her own rapist victimizing another child 20 years later.
“It’s probably one of the most powerful stories that I’ve ever been involved with,” said Shane Hunter, an investigator with the sheriff’s office. “Just knowing that it was the right time and the right place for her to be there. It was meant to be that it was his time to get caught.”
In this case, police said Rolin spoiled the 14-year-old with gifts to win her over. They said the child’s mother, Charlotte Johnson, knew what was happening and allowed it to continue.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get something done before it happened to another one,” Thompson said.
Thompson said she wants others to realize that more needs to be done to protect children.
While out of prison for the original rape charges, police said Rolin was caught violating the sex offender registry rules twice. He is now charged with aggravated rape.
Investigators charged Johnson with criminal responsibility for facilitation of a felony.
Deputies said Johnson knew Rolin was a sex offender. Her daughter told her about the abuse, and she still allowed the child to stay overnight with Rolin.
By Carley Gordon