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Former Pastor Pleads To Kidnapping, Sexual Conduct

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File photo of a gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) — A former Lowcountry pastor will serve at least 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of kidnapping and three of criminal sexual conduct.

Dale Richardson entered the plea Wednesday in Dorchester County Court during his trial on charges stemming from one of the incidents.

Richardson was accused of kidnapping, binding and raping women in three separate incidents in 2010 and 2011.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and under sentencing guidelines will have to serve at least 17. Richardson had faced up to 30 years in prison on each count.

During the sentencing hearing he apologized for the pain and suffering he caused.

The plea deal allowed Richardson to avoid prosecution for another kidnapping in which he was not accused of rape.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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