Craigslist Murders: Purported Chaplain's Criminal Past Includes Managing Prostitutes

PHOTO: Rich Beasley, a 52-year-old Akron, Ohio man is suspected to have been involved in the death of 3 people and injuring of 1 who answered a phony job add on Craigslist.PlayABC News
WATCH Craigslist Murders: Suspect's Mother Speaks Out

The self proclaimed "chaplain" allegedly at the center of the Ohio Craigslist murder spree has an extensive criminal record that includes managing more than a dozen prostitutes and selling drugs.

Rich Beasley, 52, and his alleged co-conspirator 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty were arrested on Nov. 16.

The teenager has been charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder in connection with three men who were killed and one who was wounded after answering a bogus Craigslist ad offering a job.

So far, Beasley is not charged in connection with those deaths. He was arrested on previous charges related to prostitution and drugs.

Beasley, a purported chaplain, has spent a total of 15 of the past 30 years in prison for a laundry list of crimes.

A court document from Summit County, Ohio, shows that Beasley was accused by the Akron Police Department of 15 prostitution-related charges in December 2010.

"Between Nov. 2009-Dec. 2009, suspect did recruit, supervise, manage, transport and profit from prostitutes engaged in prostitution," the document states.

Beasley allegedly managed 14 prostitutes, including a 17-year-old. The document states that Beasley was aware of the teenager's age.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday for these charges.

In November 2010, Beasley was charged with trafficking Oxycontin when he allegedly sold Oxycontin pills to a detective. He was indicted on this charge and has a hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Beasley was also accused of a number of other charges in December 2010 including aggravated menacing, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, cultivation of marijuana and possession of criminal tools.

These misdemeanor charges were dismissed following a court-related technicality, but the felony prostitution charges were upheld. Beasley is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

His attorney Rhonda Kotnik did not respond to requests for comment.

Court documents from Texas show arrests and convictions for charges including burglary and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Beasley spent about four years in prison in Texas.

Though Beasley was reportedly known as "Chaplain Rich," two Akron churches associated with him denied any direct link to him this week.

Beasley's mother Carol Beasley, 70, told that her son struggled to make ends meet as an unpaid chaplain and that he desperately did not want to go back to jail.

"In my wildest dreams, I just couldn't imagine him harming someone," Beasley said. "I never imagined he would do the things he did."

"Although he did a lot of types of things, it seems that he worked with people on the border — drug addicts, street people — I just don't know if he crossed over the line or what happened," Carol Beasley said.

Beasley said that her son acted as a mentor for the young Rafferty. She said Rafferty struggled in school after his parents' divorce and Rich Beasley tried to get him interested in history.

Rafferty's father Michael Rafferty, told ABC News that his son unwittingly dug some of the shallow graves the victims were buried in, thinking they were drainage ditches.

"I think he probably didn't realize what he was involved in until it was too late and that he was in fear for his life and the lives of the people he loved," Michael Rafferty told "Good Morning America."

Rafferty said that his son Brogan told him that he did not shoot anyone and was under the spell of Beasley, who had been his mentor.

"To think that my son would be capable of masterminding some kind of crazy scheme like this, that's beyond belief," Michael Rafferty said.

Rafferty made his first court appearance on Tuesday, looking sullen and unexpressive. He repeatedly answered questions with "no comment." It has not yet been determined whether Rafferty will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult.

In response to an ABC News question about what he would like to say to the families of the victims as he walked out of court, Rafferty shook his head and said, "Sorry."