Judge denies bond for man suspected in Horry County sexual assault cold cases

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:08 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 2:22 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A man accused of being involved in several sexual assault cases dating back over 20 years won’t be getting out from behind bars anytime soon.

Randy Barnhill appeared for the first time in court since his arrest in June for a bond hearing.

He faces 13 charges, which include multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and exposure of private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner.

RELATED COVERAGE | Horry County police make arrest in serial sexual assault cold cases dating back over 20 years

He is a suspect in multiple sexual assault cases that date back to 2000.

Horry County police said he was identified as a suspect after scientific evidence and advances in technology provided them a new lead in a 2006 sexual assault investigation.

Back in November 2006, documents show that a woman was taking out the trash along Oleander Drive when she was grabbed, forced back inside the building, physically restrained and sexually assaulted.

Randy Barnhill
Randy Barnhill(Source: HCPD)

Investigators said Barnhill was identified as a suspect in the case in May, then arrested by police on June 9.

He has been in J. Reuben Long Detention Center since then.

Barnhill is also a registered sex offender who has been on the registry since May 1993 when he was convicted of indecent exposure.

During the bond hearing, prosecutors asked for the judge to deny bond for Barnhill due to him being a flight risk and a danger to the community.

“You’re honor, we’re dealing with a sex offender, who has been convicted of violating his requirement to register as a sex offender, who has walked the streets, parking lots and inside people’s homes in this county, committing violent, heinous sexual assaults against complete strangers who did not know who he was,” the prosecution said.

One of Barnhill’s accusers also appeared in court and made a statement. She said to the judge that the suspected sexual assault changed her life.

Barnhill’s attorney argued that his client should get bond because he has lived in Horry County all of his life and he needs to work while the case makes its way through the system. He added that Barnhill is not a flight risk.

“He’s not a risk to flee. He doesn’t have a passport, his whole family is here and he has nowhere to go,” said Barnhill’s attorney. “Regarding his danger to the community, that can be addressed through the court, through the use of home detention and electronic monitoring.”

Ultimately, the judge denied bond for Barnhill, due to his criminal history, along with the prosecution’s claim that authorities have DNA evidence that ties Barnhill to the crimes.

Meanwhile, Horry County police said that they are aware of other cases in neighboring counties that match the same offender’s description and motive. The criminal investigations division is in contact with those agencies to provide any information and guidance.

The investigation into Barnhill remains open.

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