COLUMBIA, S.C. — A man who Richland County deputies say is a serial rapist has been arrested and officers say they're now looking for more potential victims.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott held a news conference Monday where he announced that 29-year-old Antonious Randolph had been taken into custody and was facing multiple charges.
"We've taken a monster off the streets," Lott said.
At this point, Lott believes Randolph may be responsible for six sexual assaults in the area. The suspect is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct first degree with kidnapping and burglary charges but Lott said more charges are coming. Randolph is jail on a $250,000 bond.
Lott said the first case was a woman calling in a possible sexual assault 18 months ago, however, she did want to file a full report. Months later, deputies began to see other reports of assault put in and eventually were able to connect the different crimes and realize there was a pattern.
Lott said it had been some time since they county has seen a suspect like this.
According to the sheriff, the suspect would use an app to set up and in-person meeting with the victim, including one at a home. Lott said sometimes he would wear a mask, and other times he would use a knife or gun. Some victims, however, were able to fight him off and get away before a sexual assault took place, Lott said.
Officers said over the weekend they developed information that the suspect might be about to commit another crime. They were able to track him down and found him walking down the street. According to Lott, he had a mask, a knife, and a sex toy, which fit information from a previous crime.
"That's the scary part is he was not going to stop until we stopped him," the sheriff added.
Now they're looking for additional victims or people who have information to come forward by contact the sheriff's department or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. However, the sheriff said people do not have to report the crimes to law enforcement if they do not want to or don't feel comfortable. Instead, people can go to Pathways of Healing, a sexual assault and counseling organization, that can provide resources that the victim may need.
"If you are not ready to report that is okay, we respect that," said Rebecca Lorick, Pathways to Healings's Executive Director.
They can be reached at 803.771.7273.