New charges for ex-pastor Dale Richardson

  • Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011 12:01 a.m., Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012 10:16 p.m.
Dale Richardson, a former minister accused of kidnapping four local women and raping three of them, is flanked by sheriff's deputies in a Dorchester County courtroom Thursday.

Dale Richardson seemed comfortable in his own skin Thursday. The suspected serial rapist smiled and joked with detention officers who were guarding him in a Dorchester County courtroom.

Richardson, who until recently served as pastor of a small church in Ladson, had just been served with arrest warrants charging him with two more counts of kidnapping and two more counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

He was in court for a bond hearing, his fifth in the three weeks since his July 28 arrest.

Richardson now stands accused of kidnapping four local women and raping three of them.

In all four cases, the victims willingly got into the suspect's vehicle. Three of the victims told police they were prostitutes. Another one said she was hitchhiking.

The charges filed by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office on Thursday accuse Richardson of taking a woman that he picked up on Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston on Aug. 12, 2010 to a trailer behind Freedom Free Will Baptist Church on Lincolnville Road, and raping her there.

Until his ministerial credentials were suspended last week, Richardson was the pastor of that church.

He also was accused of taking a woman that he had picked up on Jan. 5, 2010, near Rivers and Remount roads in North Charleston to a dirt road off Mallard Road in Summerville and raping her at gunpoint. According to the incident report, the victim was forced to put a condom on her assailant before he raped her.

Mallard Road is not too far from Richardson's address on Myrtle Way, which is in the Brookwood subdivision off Butternut Road.

Saying that Richardson posed a danger to society, Dorchester County Magistrate Arthur Bryngelson denied bond on the new charges. Richardson was returned to Charleston County jail, where he is being held on more than $1 million bail for the charges filed by North Charleston police.

Last Wednesday, Dorchester County deputies charged Richardson with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping in connection with a July 27 case in which another woman was picked up in North Charleston, taken to the trailer behind the church and raped.

North Charleston police have charged Richardson with two counts of kidnapping and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Summerville police have charged 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 which a woman said she had willingly climbed into a white pickup truck on Ashley Phosphate Road and was driven to the Lakes of Summerville, then onto a dirt road, where her abductor pulled out a handgun.

The woman told police she started crying and begging him not to kill her and she put her head between her legs. After a few minutes, the man told her to get out of the truck, the report said. There was no sexual assault in this case. Bond was denied on the charges filed by Summerville police.

Information about Richardson is going to be sent to authorities in Richland County and in Jacksonville, Fla., to see if they have any cases that fit the pattern, detectives said Thursday.

Reach David W. MacDougall at 937-5655, on Twitter at @davemacdougall or on Facebook.

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