Pastor accused of kidnappings faces rape charge
SUMMERVILLE -- A Ladson pastor accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting at least two women took them to an outbuilding on the grounds of his church to rape them, investigators said Wednesday.
Dale Richardson, 46, of Myrtle Way in Summerville, was charged by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping. Dorchester County Magistrate Katrina L. Patton denied bond on the charges.
The charges stem from a July 27 case in which a 20-year-old woman, who told North Charleston police she was a prostitute, reported being abducted at gunpoint and raped after she accepted a ride from a man in a white pickup truck as she walked down Midland Park Road near Stall Road. The victim said the rape took place in a Dorchester County location.
Though Richardson was arrested by North Charleston police on July 28 for the kidnapping component of that case, no sexual assault charges had been lodged against him until Wednesday because the alleged sexual assaults were said to have taken place in Dorchester County.
The arrest warrants served on Richardson Wednesday said he took the victim to 119 Barnhill Road in Ladson, which is a 2.82 acre parcel of land at the corner of Lincolnville and Barnhill roads owned by Freedom Free Will Baptist Church, according to tax records.
The alleged rape took place in a single-wide trailer at the rear of the church grounds, investigators said. Detectives searched the trailer on Friday, detectives said.
According to the warrant, the victim of the July 27 assault was “able to identify the defendant through his picture that is posted on line.”
Detectives said the victim observed things at the trailer that led her to look for the church’s website and when she found the website, she saw the preacher’s photo and contacted police, fingering him as her assailant.
Dorchester County investigators on Wednesday said they anticipate filing another set of similar charges against Richardson for an Aug. 12, 2010 North Charleston case with a similar pattern.
In both cases, though they took place almost one year apart, the women told police they were prostitutes and that they were picked up in the Ashley Phosphate Road area. They said their assailant pulled out a gun, put a bag over their heads, drove them to building in Dorchester County where he raped them, then drove them back to Carolina Commerce Parkway, where he set them free in a woods, telling them to not look back as they walked away.
North Charleston police on Aug. 3 charged Richardson with kidnapping and a weapons charge in the Aug. 12, 2010 case. His bail on the Charleston County charges totals more than $1 million.
Another agency, the Summerville Police Department, on Friday served Richardson with warrants charging him with assault, kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, all in connection with a June 21 incident in that town. A municipal court judge denied bail on the charges, Summerville Police Capt. Jon Rogers said.
In that case, no sexual assault is alleged.
Investigators were looking at similar cases back through 2010 and additional charges may be filed.