Judge Denies Bail for Dungeon Assault Suspect

A man charged with abducting two teenage girls and raping them in an underground room behind his home was denied bail Wednesday for the second time.

Kenneth G. Hinson, 47, was captured Friday after a four-day manhunt in the woods near his home.

Circuit Judge Michael Baxley refused to set bail on three first-degree burglary charges against him Wednesday. On Saturday, a magistrate also denied bail on charges of criminal sexual conduct, assault and battery, and kidnapping.

Authorities say Hinson abducted two 17-year-old girls one at a time from a nearby home while they were sleeping and took them to the room, no larger than a closet, where both were sexually assaulted.

The girls were left bound inside the room, concealed under a shed, but managed to free themselves and walk to safety last week.

In court Wednesday, Hinson disputed the burglary charges, which involve the house where the girls were abducted.

"All I got to say is, the burglary charges, the home is mine," he said.

Prosecutor Jay Hodge said officials don't think Hinson owned the house.

Hinson initially faced two burglary charges. Hodge said another count was filed because authorities learned Hinson visited the home a third time to take clothing. It wasn't clear who the clothes were for.

Asked if he was currently employed, Hinson told the judge he worked as an independent contractor. Public defender Robert L. Kilgo Jr. said Hinson recently spent three years working as a welder for a steel company in Darlington.

Kilgo told the judge he couldn't continue representing Hinson because his office has represented one of the girls in an unrelated case as well as relatives of the other girl.

Hinson was arrested near his rural home, about 50 miles northeast of Columbia, after showing up at the back door of a relative's home and asking for water, authorities said. The relative gave it to him, then called 911. Hinson, who was carrying a loaded handgun, was quickly arrested.

Hinson had previously been convicted in 1991 of raping an 11-year-old girl. Before his release from prison in 2000, a review committee recommended he be committed indefinitely to a Department of Mental Health facility for treatment, but a judge rejected the recommendation, saying prosecutors failed to show Hinson was likely to offend again.