Former Winthrop officer accused of sexual battery against minors facing 49 more charges

Former officer accused of sex crimes involving minors

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A former officer at Winthrop University who was arrested recently after being accused of sexual battery against a child and a teenager is facing more charges.

Agents from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division arrested 48-year-old Charles Eugene Price, who worked as a law enforcement officer with the Winthrop University Police Department, on Oct. 16.

According to the original arrest warrants, the alleged incidents happened between 2007 and 2008 and involve a juvenile under the age of 11 and a 14-year-old. One report involving the 14-year-old states Price handcuffed the victim, but a belt around the child’s neck and told the victim to “shut up” when they cried or tried to get out.

Price was originally charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years of age and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, SLED announced that Price is facing an additional 49 charges. The new charges involve alleged incidents that happened from at least 2007 up to 2019.

The new charges include multiple criminal sexual conduct charges in the first, second, and third-degree, at least one kidnapping charge, and others.

Officials with Winthrop University say Price was “immediately relieved of his badge,” escorted off the campus property and suspended without pay when they found out about the investigation. When Price was then charged, he was “immediately terminated" and actions were taken to have his law enforcement certification suspended and withdrawn by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council.

The officials say there is no indication any of the alleged crimes happened at the university or while he was serving in his duties as an officer. All the incidents happened in York County.

Read Winthrop University’s entire statement in full below:

"In late September, the Winthrop University Police Department (WUPD) was made aware by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) of an open criminal investigation into one of its police officers, Mr. Charles Price. Upon being notified of the open criminal investigation and due to the seriousness of the allegations, the police officer was immediately relieved of his badge, credentials, and duty weapon. Subsequently, the police officer was placed on suspension without pay and escorted off Winthrop University property. From the initial contact with SLED, WUPD has fully cooperated with SLED into the criminal investigation of the police officer. On 10/16/2020, SLED informed WUPD that they had obtained arrest warrants on the police officer and that he had been taken into custody. Upon being notified of the criminal charges and arrest, the police officer was immediately terminated from WUPD. Furthermore, WUPD will seek to have the former police officer’s law enforcement certification suspended and withdrawn by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council.

"During the course of SLED’s criminal investigation, a WUPD Internal Affairs investigation was also conducted. At this time, neither WUPD’s Internal Affairs investigation nor SLED’s criminal investigation, has uncovered any evidence that these criminal incidents occurred on Winthrop University property or as part of the former police officer’s official duty as a law enforcement officer. Since being placed on suspension, the former police officer has not been allowed on the campus or any property owned by Winthrop University. In conjunction with the former police officer’s termination, he was also issued a Trespass Warning Notice from WUPD, banning him indefinitely from the campus and all property owned by Winthrop University. WUPD and Winthrop University want to assure the public that upon being initially notified of the situation, swift action was undertaken to ensure the continual safety and protection of the campus and the community.

“WUPD would also like to express their appreciation to SLED for their thorough investigation into this matter and have pledged that they will continue to fully cooperate with SLED. Further information and questions regarding the criminal charges or the criminal investigation into the former police officer should be directed to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Public Information Officer.”

Price was booked at the York County Detention Center.

No further information has been released.

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