LISBON Ex-trooper charged again in runaway case

The ex-trooper is completing a previous sentence following a conviction on the same charge.
LISBON -- A former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper is accused again of refusing to tell authorities the whereabouts of a runaway teen-ager.
Kenneth Browne, 32, of state Route 164, Salem Township, was charged earlier this week in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court with interference with custody, a first-degree misdemeanor.
The charge was filed because, investigators say, they have evidence that Browne knows the 17-year-old girl's whereabouts and is refusing to tell them, said Detective Allan Young of the county sheriff's department.
Felony charge: Browne previously was charged with a felony in connection with the girl.
She was placed in a Wooster group home last year after it was determined her mother was unable to control her.
She ran away from the home last fall and has not been located since.
The latest charge against Browne comes as he is completing a six-month term in the county jail after being found guilty in December of a previous interference-with-custody charge in December.
Young explained that authorities will continue to charge Browne with the offense until he tells them the girl's whereabouts.
Sex charge: Her disappearance affected another case in which Browne was charged with sexual battery, a third-degree felony.
Authorities alleged he had sexual conduct with the girl in January.
The sexual battery charge against him was dropped not long after the girl disappeared.
Prosecutors said she was a key witness in the case, which couldn't be effectively tried without her.
Browne joined the state patrol in June 1990 and was assigned to the Canfield Post throughout his career. He resigned from the agency March 23, 2000, several days after being charged with sexual battery.

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