In Brief: Jan. 29, 2015

Today's In Brief features a fifth arrest in a sex ring case, the death of a South Carolinanative Nobel prize winner, and the clearing of civil rights demonstrators' sentences.

Richland County makes fifth arrest in "Five Monsters" sex ring

After a tip from the community identifying his whereabouts, Andrey Kucherin, 42, was arrested Wednesday morning at his residence and charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, The State reported.

Kucherin is the fifth and final person that has been arrested in the child-sex ring Sheriff Leon Lott referred to as the "Five Monsters," which included a Richland County reserve deputy and his son.

A Richland Country Sheriff's Department investigation showed that he and the four other members of the ring had been sexually exploiting three females ages 10, 13 and 15 for almost two years. Lott said that former Richland County Reserve Deputy Michael Collum, 43, was the leader of the sex ring.

—Natalie Pita, News Editor

Nobel Prize winner, Greenville native, dies at 99

Charles Townes, a Greenville native and Nobel laureate, died in California Tuesday, according to The State.

Townes was best known for his reach that lead to the development of the laser, as well as proving the existence of black holes and discovering the shape of the Milky Way and other galaxies.

Townes' experiments lead him to discover how to create a high frequency, short wavelength beam of light, called a maser. This was a realization of one of Einstein's theories, which Einstein had advanced in 1917.

His health problems stemmed from a bout of pneumonia in 2013. He was known for being a gentleman, dedicated and hardworking.

—Madeleine Collins, Assistant News Editor

Friendship 9's demonstration of Civil Rights, convictions tossed

On Wednesday, Judge John C. Hayes vacated the sentences for men known as the Friendship 9, The State reported.

Hayes declared that they had been wrongly convicted for trespassing and breach of peace. In 1961, the Friendship 9 sat at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

They were arrested and given the option of paying a $100 fine or spending 30 days in jail. They opted to do time in jail rather than pay money to a segregationist town.

The Friendship 9 said that they never felt guilty of anything and that they had been prosecuted simply because of their race.

While history cannot be rewritten, the event on Wednesday was a move to correct the wrongs of the past.

—Madeleine Collins, Assistant News Editor

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