ST. LOUIS > Charges against ex-priest are dropped • Prosecutors have dismissed charges of statutory rape, statutory sodomy and child molestation against Joseph Ross, a former St. Louis priest accused of molesting a young girl a decade ago. The case was set for trial later this month. "We continue to have full confidence in the victim's allegations but, due to evolving circumstances, no longer feel we have sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial," Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said. Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum said the allegations unraveled during the accuser's deposition. She had claimed abuse occurred from 1998 to 2000 at St. Cronan Church, 1203 South Boyle Avenue, where Ross was the pastor. In August 2002, Ross became the first priest from the Archdiocese of St. Louis to be laicized for abusing minors. He pleaded guilty in 1988 of molesting an 11-year-old boy in University City.
WARREN COUNTY > Wright City teen is charged • Dakota M. Flewellyn, 18, of the 29000 block of Canary Court, was charged Thursday with first-degree statutory rape. Investigators say he admitted to having sex with a 12-year-old girl.