Alleged Colleton Co. cult preacher charged with 8 counts including criminal sexual conduct


The accused leader of a cult in Colleton County is behind bars, two months after a Live 5 News investigation.

Ralph Stair, 84, has been charged with a total of eight charges. The charges include three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping, one count of burglary, one count of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Police reporter Harve Jacobs investigated Stair in October. Multiple women and members of Stair’s church, Overcomer Ministry in Canadays, came forward with sexual assault allegations and claimed he was running a cult.

The investigation began after a video surfaced that apparently showed Stair grabbing the breast of a 12-year-old girl during a church service at the compound.

On the video, Stair is heard saying no one else can touch her and that he will grab her like nobody else can.

Stair was arrested in 2004 for improperly touching two female members of the church. He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and got two 30-day terms.

Agents with the ,State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI, and Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies worked together to make the arrest just after 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Stair was being held pending a bond hearing Monday afternoon.

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