Originally created 03/06/02

Across South Carolina



Police charge priest with lewd act on child

ROCK HILL -A priest who had been conducting Mass in Rock Hill and York for Spanish-speaking Catholics for nearly three years was arrested Tuesday and charged with committing a lewd act on a minor, authorities said.

The arrest came a day after the Diocese of Charleston said the priest had been suspended pending an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. Juan Carlos Castano, 44, was in custody and was to appear before a judge today for arraignment, said Rock Hill police Capt. Charles Cabaniss.

Authorities said the incident occurred in September 2000 and involved a 4-year-old girl who was in her home alone with the priest. The child did not tell her parents about it until recently, Capt. Cabaniss said.

Brothers sentenced in student's slaying

COLUMBIA -A man and his brother have been sentenced to a combined 38 years in prison in the shooting death of a Benedict College student.

Dushun Staten was sentenced to 30 years in prison and Lucius Staten, 25, was sentenced to eight years in the death of Philip Lee Jr. Both men are from New York.

A jury convicted Dushun Staten of murder and first-degree lynching in the Jan. 15, 2001, killing of Mr. Lee in a campus parking lot. Mr. Lee, a 20-year-old freshman from Newark, N.J., was shot in the back of the head after a confrontation.

The jury did not convict Lucius Staten of murder but found him guilty of first-degree lynching.

Chief defends officers in fatal police chase

CLEMSON -Clemson Police Chief Johnson Link says his officers acted appropriately during a police chase that ended with the suspect driving off an embankment on an unfinished bridge.

Rob Brown, 23, died Sunday after, police say, he nearly hit someone in an apartment complex parking lot.

Nathan Geary, 20, a resident-employee of the apartments, and Mr. Geary's roommate told police they heard a vehicle doing "doughnuts" in a grassy area near the complex, Chief Link said.That eventually led to the chase and Mr. Brown landing his car upside-down on U.S. Highway 76, a police report says.

Plea deal nonbinding in 1969 slaying case

YORK, Pa. -One of the nine men charged in the 1969 slaying of a black woman during 10 days of race riots in York will not be able to force prosecutors to accept a plea deal that they originally agreed to but later rejected.

York County Common Pleas Court Judge John C. Uhler said Tuesday that a judge never formally approved the plea deal, meaning that neither side was bound to honor it.

In exchange for his testimony against the other defendants, Greg Neff would have served two years or less on a misdemeanor conspiracy charge. Instead, he faces a murder charge that could bring life imprisonment.

Prosecutors say they suspect Mr. Neff lied last year in testimony that Lillie Belle Allen, the 27-year-old Aiken woman who died in a hail of gunfire, had a bluish handgun and pointed it up North Newberry Street.