Ex-pastor accused in series of rapes released on bail

Dale Richardson

A Summerville man accused of kidnapping four women and raping three of them was released from jail on bail Friday, according to the state’s Victim Information Network.

Dale Richardson, 48, a former pastor, had been held without bail since he was arrested in July 2011 after a woman told North Charleston police he had picked her up and taken her to a trailer behind the church and raped her.

Investigators from Charleston and Dorchester County agencies looked into several similar, open cases and additional charges were filed.

In April, Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith Jr. set bail for Richardson at $250,000 after having heard from supporters and at least one of the alleged victims during a hearing in March.

Griffith also ordered conditions for Richardson’s release, including GPS monitoring and house arrest, with the following exceptions: medical reasons, visiting attorney, visiting church or work. He must also must follow a strict sunset-to-sunrise curfew and is to live at his wife’s residence in Summerville. Richardson 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. 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 on Aug. 12, 2010, according to investigators.

Richardson also is accused of raping a woman at gunpoint on Jan. 5, 2010, and another woman on July 27, 2011, according to investigators. Authorities also accuse Richardson of abducting a woman on June 21, 2010, but letting her go without any sexual assault.

A trial date has not been set.