Accused serial rapist arrested, RCSD investigating
An accused serial rapist in Richland County is now behind bars after five sexual assault and robbery cases spanning over a year, says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – An accused serial rapist in Richland County is now behind bars after five sexual assault and robbery cases spanning over a year, says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, 29-year-old Antonious Randolph was using various social media and dating apps to commit these crimes. Sheriff Lott says after the string of sexual assaults their investigation led them to believe the man was on the move to do it again.
“My prayer is that he is not going to see daylight again and i don’t think he will,” says Sheriff Lot. “He has a $250,000 bond now but we’re not through with him, we’re going to continue to put charges on him for everything we can. There is one place he needs to stay for the rest of his life and that is in prison.”
According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the investigation started in November 2021 with an attempted robbery at a home in Northeast Columbia when a woman says a man held her at gunpoint and assaulted her. Sheriff Lott says in December 2022 and January 2023, two more women reported a similar encounter with being assaulted at knife-point and gun-point. Another woman reported an attempted assault in January 2023 where she fled a home after physically fighting off a man, says Sheriff Lott.
On January 19th, Randolph was arrested while walking down a street in the area where these attacks reportedly happened says Sheriff Lott. Investigators say Randolph was in possession of a knife, ski mask and adult items.
During the investigation, the sheriff’s department is working closely with Pathway to Healing, a rape crisis center, as they help victims with counseling.
“When there is justice there is always a sense of a little bit of healing but it doesn’t take away the trauma that has happened, that is a lifelong issue and thats why its so important for people to come to us at pathway to healing to get the support they need,” say Pathway to Healing Executive Director Rebecca Lorick.
“We know there are other victims out there. We want any victim thats out there that had contact with him — to please let someone know,” says Sheriff Lott
Randolph faces a list of charges including two counts of kidnapping, assault and battery 1st degree, and criminal sexual conduct 1st degree.