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'We've Taken A Monster Off Our Streets': Alleged Serial Rapist In South Carolina Behind Bars
County officials say Antonius Randolph used "various apps" to target no less than five women, some of whom he sexually assaulted and robbed.
A South Carolina man is accused of violently attacking at least five women over a time span of more than a year, according to local officials.
Antonius Donshe Randolph, 29, was arrested on Saturday after officials say he used “various apps” to lure his victims and attack them, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a press conference on Monday. Lott announced that Randolph is accused of robberies and sexual assaults against five women but was “probably” responsible for more.
"We know there [are] other victims out there," said Lott.
Randolph is charged with two counts of kidnapping, as well as first-degree assault and battery, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. More charges may be on the way, Lott added.
“We’ve taken a monster off our streets, and my prayer is that he’s not going to see daylight again, and I don’t think he will,” Lott said. “But we’re not through with him. We’re going to continue to put charges on him for everything that we can.”
Officials say Randolph allegedly targeted women in the Midlands region of central South Carolina, namely in the state’s capital of Columbia. Sheriff Lott called the case “challenging,” citing uncertainty as to whether he should release information about the women’s attacks or “keep it close to our vests.”
Investigators say the first alleged incident happened in November 2021 at a northeast Columbia residence, according to a statement by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office e-mailed to Oxygen.com.
"The caller reported that a man attempted to physically pull her into the home, but she was able to flee," according to the release.
The first complainant did not stick around to file a report, but reports detailing similar events soon followed, including nearby incidents in August 2022, December 2022, and earlier this month. In those cases, the three women were assaulted at knife- or gunpoint.
Lott said the cases “escalated” and “became more frequent.”
Sheriff’s office investigators worked with the Pathways to Healing rape crisis center and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and soon established the suspect’s pattern.
"We started putting a case together and realized that we did have a serial rapist that preyed on women, that was using various apps to get them to come to a location,” said Lott. “Sometimes, he’d wear a mask to conceal his identity. Sometimes he had a gun. Sometimes he had a knife."
The most recent incident was an attempted assault earlier this month, according to the sheriff's office.
"And that’s the scary part," Lott continued. "That he was not going to stop until we stopped him."
Deputies arrested Randolph while he was "walking down the street," not far from where the attacks took place, according to the release.
"There is no doubt that deputies prevented an assault this weekend," Sheriff Lott stated in the press release.
Randolph was reportedly arrested with a mask, knife and sex toy, all of which Lott said "fit the information we got from the previous sexual assaults."
Lott announced he was "proud" of the victims who were previously too afraid to come forward, encouraging victims to contact the rape crisis center, even if they didn’t want their case investigated.
Pathways to Healing Executive Director Rebecca Lorick was also present at the press conference.
"Working collaboratively with SANE nurses and law enforcement is critical in our mission to provide supportive services to survivors of sexual violence," the organization posted on Facebook. "Even if you are not ready to report to law enforcement, we are still here to help you heal after a traumatic event."
She thanked the Richland County Sheriff’s Office for believing the victims and being so "victim-centered."
"He’s caught," Sheriff Lott said of Randolph. "You don’t have to be afraid anymore."
Lott is urging anyone with information about Randolph to come forward, even if they weren’t victims of sexual assault, claiming some survivors "fought back and were able to escape."
"There’s one place that he needs to stay the rest of his life, and that is in prison," said Lott.
Antonius Randolph is currently housed at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia, where he’s held on $250,000 bond.