BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Duffie Stone, Solicitor of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit court, announced that a nine-count indictment has been filed against former Savannah priest Wayland Brown. The charges include criminal sexual misconduct with a minor. You may remember, Father Brown was accused in a civil case involving Chris Templeton as reported by News3 in July 2016.
The announcement was made during a news conference this morning, Aug. 28. Chris Templeton told news 3 he was involved in this case, but Solicitor Duffie Stone would not name either of the two victims included in the indictments against Brown.
Brown allegedly sexually abused Templeton while he was a student at St. James Catholic School in Savannah. A $4.5 million settlement was reached in his lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Savannah on charges of alleged sexual abuse by a priest in July 2016. The suit claimed that multiple warnings were given to the church hierarchy about Brown’s behavior by clergy members as early as 1969. Brown was a priest for the Diocese from 1979 until 1982 then again in 1987.
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In 2003, Brown was convicted of molesting two minors in Maryland where he is still serving his 10 year sentence.
This is the first time Wayland Brown will be charged with criminal charges for his alleged conduct at St. James where he served as a priest.
The charges allege Brown took two children from St. James and took them to Jasper County. He is accused of molesting Chris Templeton and another child during that trip. We do not know the other victim’s name.
Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap’s office is also involved in the investigation even though Heap’s office could not prosecute Brown in Savannah because the statute of limitations had expired in Georgia. But the statute of limitations in S.C. does not expire, thus allowing criminal charges to be filed.
Brown is currently serving another sentence in Maryland and will be brought to S.C. to stand trial for these charges.Chatham County has set up a tip line at 912-652-8080 for anyone with information on this case or to report similar abuse.
News 3’s Andrew Davis spoke with Templeton this morning and he said he is happy there will finally be justice in this case.