HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A judge denied bond Tuesday afternoon for a Conway man accused of serial sexual assault in cold cases.
Randy Earl Barnhill, 56, is accused of multiple sexual assault crimes between 2000 and 2006, according to police. His charges include first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, assault of a high and aggravated nature, first- and second-degree burglary and exposure of private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner.
During Tuesday afternoon’s hearing, prosecutors said Barnhill has 11 total convictions, with the most recent one being for indecent exposure in 2017. He was previously convicted of indecent exposure in 1993 and 1995, according to information provided by police prior to Tuesday’s hearing. He was added to the sex offender registry in 2010.
Barnhill’s defense attorney argued that nothing in the current warrants before the court indicates any probable cause that he committed the crimes and that he should be granted bond because he has worked in the plumbing business for 25 years and is an “Horry County guy” with “much family support.” In denying the request for bond, the judge the prosecution’s claim there is DNA evidence connecting Barnhill to at least one crime.
His defense argued that he has never been in prison and does not have a passport, so he should not be considered a flight risk, his attorney said.
Prosecutors argued that the fact that he is facing life in prison is enough to make him a flight risk. They also pointed out a past conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. The violent nature of the alleged crimes and the fact that all of the alleged victims were “complete strangers” also makes him a danger to the community, prosecutors said.
One of Barnhill’s alleged victims appeared at the hearing to ask that Barnhill be denied bond. She said part of the DNA evidence in the case came because she fought back against her attacker.
The early 2000s cases included Barnhill allegedly entering a woman’s home while she was sleeping and raping her, entering another home and exposing himself in front of a woman, sexually assaulting a woman in a parking lot and raping a woman while she was leaving work.
Barnhill has a criminal record in South Carolina dating back to 1989, according to a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Background Check obtained by News13. In August 1989, he was convicted of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He was given a seven-year sentence, suspended to four years of probation.
In 1991, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, according to documents.
His record includes charges and convictions for indecent exposure, driving while under the influence, along with other traffic violations. He has also been previously accused of domestic violence and receiving stolen goods.
In 2010, he was convicted of a sex offender registry violation, according to the documents. He was also convicted of indecent exposure several more times in 2013, 2016 and 2017.
This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.