Pastor arrested for strangling, assaulting pregnant woman outside downtown church


CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – A Charleston-area pastor has been arrested and charged after police say he strangled a woman to the point of unconsciousness earlier this week.

The incident happened late Monday evening at Southside Impact Church on Beaufain Street.

The victim, who is eight weeks pregnant with the suspect’s child, arrived at the church to drop off two of their other children. But once she arrived, an argument ensued.

According to an affidavit, 35-year-old Rashan Lamar Wilson, who is a pastor at the church, lunged towards the victim, Shanaqua Genise Johnson, and both put his hands around her neck and squeezed tightly until she was unconscious for an undetermined amount of time.

Johnson reportedly fell to the concrete and hit her head on the ground, where she suffered an abrasion on the right side of her forehead.

A witness on scene, who is reportedly cousins to both parties, had previously arrived at the church knowing both Johnson and Wilson would be there.

When she arrived, she observed both parties standing outside of Johnson’s vehicle.

The affidavit shows both subjects walked around the church, out of the witness’ sight, and began talking and then “getting loud.”

Johnson returned to her vehicle – about 4 to 5 minutes later – and appeared disoriented. She was leaning, limping, her forehead was bleeding and she had sand and leaves in her hair.

She told the witness that Wilson had strangled her, causing her to black out – but did not remember anything after that point.

Wilson was arrested Thursday and booked at the Charleston County Detention Center. He was later released on a $20,000 bond.

The affidavit said Wilson showed extreme indifference to the value of human life and would “reasonably cause a person to fear either great bodily injury or death.”

According to court records, Wilson has been arrested on a number of other occasions ranging from failure to pay child support to driving under suspension and providing false information to police.

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