The self-proclaimed local prophet known as the Rev. Ralph Stair is again under investigation, this time for inappropriately touching at least one juvenile girl.
The ongoing criminal investigation against Stair initiated last week when local law enforcement officers were notified of a vide on You Tube that shows Stair “cupping” a 12-year-old girl’s breast.
“The incident occurred in their congregation, in public,” said Lt. Tyger Benton, spokesman for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. This is the agency currently investigating Stair.
Stair, 84, is a self-proclaimed prophet who operates on a locked compound in Cottageville. There, he has dozens of followers who live on the property. He has operated a nationally-televised radio program for more than 30 years.
According to Benton, the sheriff’s office is withholding the name of the juvenile and of the person(s) who notified them of the videos. “This is an ongoing investigation. We do not want to hinder that or put anyone at risk,” he said. As of Tuesday, no charges against Stair have been filed as a result of this investigation, said Benton.
During the last 20 years, Stair has been investigated by numerous local and state agencies on various charges of related to infant deaths and criminal sexual conduct. These criminal cases against Stair specifically include a 2013 traffic charge that was disposed of; a 2004 case of assault and battery, where Stair pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court; a second 2004 charge of assault and battery, where he also pleaded guilty; a 1998 charge of speeding; a 2002 charge of breach of trust/fraud; a 2004 charge of criminal sexual conduct; and a 2004 charge of the unauthorized removal of a dead body.