As teen in rape case, newly accused S.C. man described as ‘devil on a chain’. today usa news As teen in rape case, newly accused S.C. man described as ‘devil on a chain’.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 30-year-old court records of a man arrested earlier this week after a 30-year-old South Carolina woman was found chained in a metal shipping container paint him as a severely disturbed adolescent.
Todd Kohlhepp, now 45 and living in Moore, S.C., once threatened to kill his mother, used a hammer to destroy his newly remodeled bedroom, poured bleach into a goldfish bowl and locked a boy in a dog cage and rolled him around.
After being charged as an adult in the 1986 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Tempe, Ariz., when he was 15, he pleaded guilty to a lesser crime. One neighbor in a 1987 pre-sentencing report described him as “a devil on a chain.”
As part of the plea bargain, Kohlhepp’s record would reflect that he pleaded guilty to kidnapping, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Afterward he was required to register as a sex offender and was the most serious ranking. Originally, he had been charged with sexual assault and kidnapping.
“Approximately six years of intervention in 15 years of life have resulted in abysmal failure,” Judge C. Kimball Rose wrote in transferring Kohlhepp’s case to adult court.
Twenty years later, Kohlhepp applied for a license to sell real estate in South Carolina, knowing that his conviction and status as a sex offender had to be explained. In that document, he called his victim his “girlfriend,” lied about his crime and did not include all the information about his charges and sentence.