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Orangeburg man accused of helping friend rape woman
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Orangeburg man accused of helping friend rape woman

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An Orangeburg man is accused of helping a friend rape a woman.

Austin Lynn Tindall, 24, of Neeses Highway, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. A municipal judge set his bond at $100,000 cash or surety.

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety alleges the rape occurred on March 16 at the Econolodge, located at 1415 John C. Calhoun Drive.

A woman called officers around 5:40 a.m. to report that someone stole her cellphone.

She and her 1-year-old child were in the motel room alone.

The woman said that the previous evening, Tindall reached out to her through Facebook Messenger and asked her if she’d like to hang out.

A while later, Tindall and his friend arrived at the woman’s home, outside of Orangeburg County.

They rode around for several hours. They arrived at the motel between 11 p.m. and midnight on March 15, the report states.

The woman provided her identification for checking into the room for the night, but the co-defendant paid for the room, the report said.

In the room, the woman and her baby sat on the bed until Tindall and his friend allegedly began to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol.

At that point, the woman took her child to the balcony and waited for the men to quit smoking in the room, the report said.

When the woman and baby returned to the room, the baby went to sleep.

The woman decided to take a shower, but Tindal entered the bathroom and they engaged in consensual sexual activity, the report said.

The woman said Tindall asked her to have sex with his friend in exchange for the motel room, alcohol and marijuana.

“She told Tindall she was not OK with that and that she did not want to get involved in any of that,” the incident report states.

That’s when Tindall allegedly snatched her cellphone and told her she could have it back after she had sex with his friend.

She again told Tindall she would not do that.

The woman alleged Tindall then dragged her out of the bathroom, undressed her and presented her to his friend.

The woman told officers that Tindall’s friend asked her several times, “Did you consent to this?” and she told him each time, “No, I didn’t.”

She alleged he raped her anyway.

Her child remained asleep on the bed just a few feet away, the report states.

She told police that Tindall and his friend left the room with her phone and never returned.

If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Tindall faces up to 30 years in prison.

Investigators named Tindall’s friend as a co-defendant. He’s not yet in custody, Capt. Victor Cordon said Tuesday afternoon.

Tindall is on parole.

In January 2018, he and three co-defendants pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to larcenies and burglaries in 2017. In total, the four men faced 104 charges. Most of those charges were dropped.

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein sentenced Tindall under the Youthful Offender Act not to exceed six years.

According to the S.C. Department of Corrections, Tindall was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2018.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD.

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