Accusers still waiting for preacher’s sex assault trial more than two years after arrest

Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 2:49 PM EDT
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CANADYS, S.C. (WCSC) - Accusers of a Colleton County preacher charged with sexual assault are still waiting for him to go to trial.

Rev. Ralph Stair is accused of sexually assaulting several women and children at Overcomer Ministry in Canadys in Colleton County.

Deputies arrested 86-year old Stair in December 2017 after a Live 5 News investigation into his alleged cult at his compound.

In early 2018, Stair was freed on $750,000 bond. A judge ordered him to wear and electronic monitor and to stay on his property.

One of Stair’s alleged victims says she wants to find out why Stair’s trial has not been held.

Staci Yates says she was sexually assaulted by Stair from 1992 to 1999 while she lived at Overcomer Ministries. Yates says waiting for the trial has taken a toll on her.

“You just can’t get past it,” Yates said Monday. “For me it’s been 20 years but bringing it all back and talking to the FBI about it, it’s brought up a lot of emotion.”

Jeff Kidd, a spokesman for the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office says the Stair case is still under investigation and that when court rooms reopen fir trials a lot of things will have to be sorted out.

Yates is skeptical that a trial will ever be held.

“I just hope that when people hear our story, even if it never goes to trial that they can know their voices can be heard, that it’s not okay to be sexually harassed or assaulted, women, children, men, it’s not okay,” Yates said.

In an interview for a documentary, Stair denied the sex assault accusations.

“I haven’t had sex with anybody under 18, it’s a false charge. When I committed adultery the women were old enough and we had a good time,” Stair said.

He also denied that he is operates a cult at Overcomer Ministry.

“Don’t tell me you’re not a sinner, you are,” Stair said. “All of us sin, all of us and come sure, all of us. That’s why we’re here. We want to get out of that environment and we’re doing fine. Look at the place, where can we live better than this, with no debt?”

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