Across the area

Two explosion victims leaving rehab center

Two more people burned in the Imperial Sugar explosion were discharged Friday from Doctors Hospital's rehabilitation unit, according to a hospital news release.

Originally, the Joseph M. Still Burn Center received 20 patients from the February explosion at the plant near Savannah, Ga. Now, three employees remain in critical condition and one is in fair condition at the burn center, while two are in the hospital's rehab unit, the release states.

Teens charged in sex crimes against girl

An Aiken teenager has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and an Edgefield, S.C., teen was charged with conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct with a minor after a game of "strip poker" with a 14-year-old girl spiraled out of control.

On Wednesday afternoon, three boys -- a 14-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old -- arrived at the girl's home off South Carolina Highway 23. After letting the boys in, the girl played cards with the 14-year-old and the 15-year-old.

A police report said the 17-year-old, also of Edgefield, was outside. The victim told police the younger boys began pulling her clothes off against her will. She told police the 15-year-old boy held her down and tried to get her to perform a sexual act while the 14-year-old began having forced intercourse with her. The 17-year-old re-entered the home, saw what was taking place, and reportedly made the boys stop.

Man faces charges in abuse of 9-year-old

A 41-year-old Johnston, S.C., man, George Albert Jones of May Street, was arrested Thursday night and charged with first degree criminal sexual misconduct, the commitment of a lewd act on a minor and one other sex crime after Department of Social Services officials contacted police concerning the reported abuse of a 9-year-old girl.

Officials with DSS were contacted by Edgefield County Hospital officials after the girl was examined there this week.

Mr. Jones was being held at the Edgefield County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

Armed robbery victim in serious condition

A convenience store owner who was shot in an armed robbery Thursday night was in serious condition Friday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Calvin Chew.

Yong Won, 65, was shot in the upper chest about 9:30 p.m. Thursday during an armed robbery at his store, Goshen Grocery on the 1600 block of Goshen Road, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

Two men entered the south Augusta store wearing masks and brandishing handguns, the report states.

One of the men was caught on a surveillance camera shooting five rounds at Mr. Won. Two of those shots reportedly hit Mr. Won before the men fled on foot. Police were still looking for the suspects Friday.

-- From staff reports