South Carolina Pastor Faces Rape, Additional Assault Charge
SUMMERVILLE – A South Carolina pastor accused of raping two women in a trailer behind his church now faces a third count of criminal sexual conduct.
Dorchester County Magistrate Arthur Bryngelson denied bail for Dale Richardson at a hearing Thursday. Richardson was charged in an in January of 2010 with kidnapped a woman and raping her at gunpoint in the woods near Summerville.
He was also served warrants in his earlier arrest in neighboring Charleston County on one of the church assaults.
The 46-year-old preacher now faces three counts of criminal sexual conduct and four of kidnapping -- the latter involving a woman he is accused of abducting but not sexually assaulting.
His public defender in Charleston County said it's too early to comment on the case but may have a statement later.
During a brief bond hearing, Richardson appeared before the judge in a gray and white prison jump suit, his feet shackled. He said little, but told the magistrate he understood the charges against him and that he could have an attorney appointed for him.
The magistrate said he was denying bond because he considered Richardson a threat to society.
In two of the assaults, authorities say the preacher gave the women a ride and when they tried to get out of his car, he drew a gun, bound them and covered their heads. Authorities say he took them to a trailer behind the Free Will Baptist Church in a rural area between Ladson and Summerville.
Authorities say Richardson then drove the women, both described as prostitutes, to the woods where he told them not to look back or he would shoot them.
Richardson was arrested last month after one victim reported her attack.
Since then, authorities say the other victims have identified him from photos. Authorities have said they are checking other unsolved rapes in the area to see if there is any connection to Richardson.