The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
William Oswald, the former pastor of Dunn’s Chapel Church in West Columbia, South Carolina, stands accused of sexually assaulting two minors numerous times over the space of several years. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
A former pastor of Dunn’s Chapel Church in South Congaree is charged with 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct with a child, after two victims came forward last week.
William Oswald, 56, was denied bond on Wednesday morning and remains jailed at the Lexington County Detention Center ahead of his next court appearance in May.
According to investigators, two victims allege the sexual abuse took place between 1996 and 2001 at Dunn’s Chapel Church, where Oswald was a pastor. According to the incident report, the victims described in graphic detail the alleged sexual assaults, each stating they were assaulted more than a one hundred times during the time period. The victims said the alleged abuse began when they were around the age of eight and continued until their early teens.
he two victims were inside the courtroom Wednesday morning during Oswald’s bond hearing. One said she feels empowered by stepping forward and reporting the alleged abuse.
“I just finally feel safe because he’s not going to be able to touch me again or get out,” she said. “Over the years he just always manipulates the situation so no matter how many boundaries you try to put up he ends up getting back in and he can’t do that anymore, I hope.”
The victim said she knows of other victims that have yet to come forward. South Congaree Police said there are likely other victims in different jurisdictions.
“I know of several already, some that are still too afraid to speak,” she said.
She said she wanted to speak in hopes of encouraging other victims to step forward.
“There’s hope and it’s okay to speak and even if it takes you a while and years to feel safe and be separated enough it’s okay to speak, you can feel safe again,” she said.