Trial of Lincolnville pastor Dale Richardson accused of kidnapping four prostitutes from North Charleston. Dale Richardson, 46, of Summerville was arrested in connection with a kidnapping and sexual assault on Midland Park Road the day before.
Jurors learned how he and the woman, who still works as a prostitute, had set up a rendezvous that day in July by exchanging text messages. But it was the two other women accusing him of rape, including one who was not a prostitute, he worried about.
Richardson was on trial this week in only one case, but 1st Circuit Judge Maite Murphy allowed his accusers in two others to be heard. And as one of them prepared to testify Wednesday, Richardson pleaded guilty to three counts each of kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the deal that abruptly ended his trial.
He had faced up to 30 years on each count.
The agreement allowed him to avoid prosecution for one other kidnapping case in which the woman had not accused him of rape. He has already spent nearly two years in jail. Murphy told him that the women he raped had put themselves in dangerous situations. Rather than healing the people who most needed it, you took advantage of them in the most horrible way.
For weeks, Richardson had considered a plea deal. Richardson had arranged to have sex with the woman who had already taken the witness stand. But, the woman testified, she never would have agreed to rough treatment as part of a sexual fantasy.
His loved ones walked briskly out of the courthouse after he accepted responsibility for the crimes. None would stop and talk with reporters. The plea deal allowed them to move on, he said.
But their credibility on the witness stand, he said, was a hurdle for a guilty verdict. One was an escort, one was a street prostitute, and one was a hitchhiker with a criminal rap sheet, he said. Instead of dropping off the woman, Richardson pulled out a pistol and drove her north on Interstate In a forested area off Jedburg Road, Richardson made the woman get out and have sex with him.
The eventual victim noticed him and climbed into his car. He took her to a remote part of North Charleston, where he stopped the Cadillac. After she snuffed out a cigarette on the ground, she turned to the sight of Richardson holding a gun. He tied her hands, covered her head with a pillow case and drove her to the mobile home, a parsonage for his church.
After Richardson dropped her off in North Charleston, that woman also reported her ordeal to the police.
The woman advertised her services online, in forums like Back. She went by a fictitious name: Vanessa, a petite, sweet and year-old brunette.
During the trial, a Verizon Wireless employee testified about calls between Richardson and the prepaid cellphone that the accuser posted in her. Some of the calls popped up on July 11,16 days before the incident.
On July 27, the two s exchanged text messages indicating that a meeting was set up that morning. Even prosecutors acknowledged after the guilty plea that the woman had arranged to meet Richardson. But she did so without knowing her prospective client was the man who happened upon her on the roide, gave her a ride and later raped her while holding a 9 mm pistol. But Savage noted the phone calls between her cellphone and another during the time she was supposedly being held against her will. They indicated, he said, that she was a mutual participant in the sex.
Whether it later turned into a bizarre and unwanted escapade that included bondage and a firearm had been issues for a jury to decide.
Other accusers also picked him out of a photo lineup. His guilty pleas Wednesday, though, left some wondering if any other unsolved assaults would be tied to him. Edit Close. Toggle Menu.
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