Men charged with statutory rape


Police say they were called to Johnston Memorial Hospital earlier this week to follow up on a report given by a 14-year-old girl. The girl told hospital officials that she had been involved in sexual relations with two adult males.

The alleged incident occurred in May or June and the child's parents took her to the hospital after learning about it.

An investigation revealed that two men met the girl through mutual friends and may have provided her with drugs before the offenses occurred.

Police believe the incident happened at the home of 39-year-old Jamelle Best. They arrested Best Wednesday after serving a search warrant at his home.

During that search, officers seized two handguns and a small amount of narcotics.

Best is charged with statutory rape, indecent liberties with a child, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and seven additional drug-related offenses.

The second suspect, 22-year-old Juan Antonio Batiste, remains at large. He is charged with statutory rape and indecent liberties with a child.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Batiste is asked to call local law enforcement or 911 center. Also, callers may contact Clayton Crime Stoppers at 359-TIPZ (8479). A cash reward is available for information that leads to his arrest.

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