A rural South Carolina preacher was arrested this week on sexual misconduct charges after several videos suggested that he had sexually harassed members of his congregation and inappropriately groped underage girls.
The Post and Courier reported on Monday that preacher Ralph Gordon Stair had been arrested by Colleton sheriff’s deputies that morning after several women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
A report by the paper earlier this year found that Stair had been part of an ongoing investigation by local and federal law enforcement officials, including the FBI.
In a video that surfaced on YouTube, Stair was allegedly seen inappropriately touching underage girls. In another video, a former member of Stair’s congregation accused him of sexual misconduct.
Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland said that he was “very concerned” after viewing the videos.
“The allegations against Stair based on the video are not the first time he has been accused of inappropriate contact with an underage female,” The Post and Courier pointed out in October. “Stair appeared in Colleton County General Sessions Court in November of 2004, approximately two years after being charged with improperly touching two of his young female church members.”
Stair eventually pleaded guilty to reduced charges of assault and battery in that case, allowing him to avoid addition jail time and having to register as a sex offender.