After spending nearly two years behind bars waiting for trial, a former pastor and accused serial rapist from Summerville has received a chance at getting out of jail.
On Wednesday, a judge set bail at $250,000 for Dale Richardson, 48, who’s charged with kidnapping four local women and raping three of them. In August 2011, a judge denied bail on Richardson’s charges in Dorchester County, but last month his attorney, Andy Savage, filed a request to the court to reconsider that decision. During a hearing, a group of people showed up to support Richardson. His attorneys argued that denying bail was excessive because Richardson had no prior criminal record and his entire family lives in Summerville.
One of the three women Richardson is accused of raping in 2010 was in the courtroom in opposition to any bail that could lead to his release. Prosecutors argued he would be a danger to the community, according to 1st Circuit Assistant Solicitor Don Sorenson. Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith Jr. mulled it over for a little more than a month before issuing his decision. In addition to setting bail, Griffith ordered certain conditions for Richardson to follow, if he’s released.
Richardson must appear for all court dates, he’s required to be on GPS monitoring, he must live in his Summerville home where his wife resides. He also must follow a strict sunset-to-sunrise curfew and will be under house arrest with the following exceptions: medical reasons, visiting attorney, visiting church or work.
He is also restricted from having any contact with the alleged victims.
Richardson previously served as head pastor of Freedom Free Will Baptist Church in Lincolnville. On Aug. 12, 2010, Richardson is accused of taking a woman in North Charleston to a trailer behind Freedom Free Will Baptist Church on Lincolnville Road and raping her, according to investigators.
Richardson also is accused of taking a woman that he had picked up on Jan. 5, 2010, in North Charleston to a dirt road off Mallard Road in Summerville and raping her at gunpoint. On July 27, 2010, investigators said he raped another woman behind the same church after picking her up in North Charleston.
Authorities also accuse Richardson of abducting a woman but letting her go without any sexual assault on June 21, 2010.
A trial date has not been set. On Monday morning, Richardson still remained in jail at the Dorchester County Detention Center.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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