Former pastor and suspected serial rapist Dale Richardson will be tried in a Dorchester County court.
Charges stemming from several Lowcountry rapes had been filed in both Charleston and Dorchester counties, but on Friday the Charleston County charges were dismissed.
That doesnít mean the charges wonít be prosecuted, according to 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, who said it was a housekeeping action to remove redundancies across counties. ďThe substance of the charges happened in Dorchester County,Ē she said.
The Charleston County charges included two counts of kidnapping and two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Russell Hilton, a 1st Circuit assistant solicitor said Richardson had originally been charged with kidnapping in both counties on the same charge because Richardson kidnapped the woman in Charleston County but moved into Dorchester. Since most of the crime occurred in Dorchester, thatís where theyíve decided to prosecute those charges, he said.
Richardsonís attorney, Andy Savage, had been in the process of trying to get Richardsonís bond reduced in Charleston County, where he is currently being housed in jail on $1 million bail. A hearing had been scheduled for Friday morning, but it didnít move forward since the charges in Charleston no longer exist.
Savage said he intends to file a request to reduce Richardsonís bond soon in Dorchester County. In August 2011, a judge denied bond on his charges in Dorchester County.
When asked whether Richardson will be transferred to Dorchester Countyís jail, both Hilton and Wilson said he should be but it was not clear when that might occur.
Richardson is accused of kidnapping four local women and raping three of them. On Aug. 12, 2010 Richardson took a woman in North Charleston to a trailer behind Freedom Free Will Baptist Church on Lincolnville Road and raped 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. On June 21, 2010, Richardson abducted a woman, but let her go without any sexual assault, investigators said.
Trial date has not been set.