Deputies: Rapes occurred on church grounds

  • Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:01 a.m., Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012 10:24 p.m.
Dale Richardson

Summerville -- The pastor accused of kidnapping two prostitutes took them to a trailer behind his Ladson church to rape them, investigators said.

Dale Richardson, 46, of Myrtle Way in Summerville, was charged Wednesday by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping. County Magistrate Katrina L. Patton denied bond.

The charges stem from a July 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 woman said the rape took place in a Dorchester County location.

Though Richardson was arrested by North Charleston police for the kidnapping component of that case, no sexual assault charges had been lodged against him until Wednesday, because the alleged attacks were said to have taken place in Dorchester County.

The arrest warrants served Wednesday on Richardson say he took the victim on July 27 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 mobile home at the rear of the church grounds, investigators said. Detectives searched the trailer on Friday, detectives said.

According to the warrant, the victim 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 it she saw the preacher's photo and contacted police. Richardson is the pastor of the church.

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 a 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.

In both cases, investigators determined that the building was the trailer behind the church.

North Charleston police on Aug. 3 charged Richardson with kidnapping and a weapons charge in the 2010 case. His bail on the Charleston County charges totals more than $1 million.

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 with a prostitute. A municipal court judge denied bail on the charges, 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.

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