Former Winthrop officer accused of sexual battery against minors denied bond for the second time
Officials with Winthrop University say Charles Price was “immediately relieved of his badge,” escorted off the campus property and suspended without pay when they found out about the investigation.
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A former Winthrop University police officer accused of sexual battery against a child and a teenager is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Charles Eugene Price was arrested in October 2020 and 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. He was also a former police officer at Fort Mill and Clover police departments.
Days later, officials with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division announced that Price is facing an additional 49 charges stemming from alleged incidents that happened from at least 2007 up to 2019.
One report involving a 14-year-old alleges that Price handcuffed the victim, put a belt around the child’s neck and told the victim to “shut up” when they cried or tried to get away.
Back in May, Price was denied bond on the counts. Bond was denied for the second time Tuesday.
Prosecutors shocked the packed courtroom - revealing they have new DNA evidence linking Price to one of his alleged victims.
Price has been in jail for 14 months and already denied bail back in May, according to his lawyer. In court, his lawyer argued that he was not a flight risk and would be willing to go under house arrest with an ankle bracelet if it meant getting out today. Price’s lawyer also argued that the charges, stemming from 2007 to about 2019, are not current and that Price has not had any contact with his alleged victims.
His fiancée Laurie Ross got up to speak on his behalf. She attempted to sway the judge to let him go because she “missed him.”
“We never had a dull moment in our conversations and we laughed a lot. That’s one thing I really truly appreciate about him. He knows how to laugh and make me laugh,” says Ross.
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charged, he was “immediately terminated” and actions were taken to have his law enforcement certification suspended and withdrawn by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council.
Price is scheduled to appear around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
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