Service officer faces 16 charges

Salvatore Maniche, 20, faces multiple assault charges.

Over two years, a North Charleston community service officer choked, cut, shot or sexually assaulted three girls and a young woman who were guests at his home, according to court documents.

Salvatore Maniche, 20, was arrested March 19 on 16 charges in the reported incidents on Bent Creek Drive. He remained in Dorchester County’s jail Monday in lieu of $450,000 bail.

He faces 10 counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree assault and one count of kidnapping. Three of the alleged victims were 16; one was 18.

Maniche works as a civilian employee of the North Charleston Police Department’s uniform patrol division. Agency spokesman Spencer Pryor said Maniche was placed on unpaid leave in light of his arrest, which was his first in South Carolina.

Service officers such as Maniche might help broken-down motorists or take reports for minor wrecks. They cannot arrest someone.

He was the second such North Charleston officer to be arrested during the past four months. In December, Charleston police said 56-year-old David Weston Crane stole an $11 flat-iron steak from a downtown Piggly Wiggly.

Though they span years, the accusations against Maniche did not start surfacing until March 19, when a teacher at Fort Dorchester High School saw bruises on an 18-year-old student.

The student later met with Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office deputies and told them that she had been dating Maniche for two months when they argued March 15 at his home. She tried to leave, but Maniche pushed her onto a bed, then kicked her off and punched her arms, back and legs, according to an incident report. He held her there for 15 minutes, she told the authorities.

The young woman added that about a month earlier, Maniche had choked her until she passed out.

That report led to three more alleged victims speaking with detectives last week, but the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t say exactly how it learned about the other cases. Incident reports simply state that they showed up at the Sheriff’s Office and spoke with detectives.

“More charges are possible,” sheriff’s Lt. Tony Phinney said. “Due to this circumstance, we will have no further comment.”

Arrest affidavits, however, hint at the three 16-year-olds’ stories:

Between March 29, 2011, and April 2, 2011, one of the alleged victims said Maniche choked her and forced her into a sex act, according to the documents.

Another girl said she had been choked twice between April 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2012.

For no reason, Maniche once walked up to her and punched her groin, according to the affidavits. The documents further allege that while they were having sex, he forced her to submit to another sex act. She begged him to stop, but he didn’t, the affidavits stated.

On his birthday, she told detectives, she gave Maniche a knife. He told her, “I wonder how sharp this is,” and slashed her leg, the documents stated.

The other accuser recalled a similar sexual assault between Feb. 14, 2012, and March 14, 2012.

She added that Maniche once held a large knife to her neck, asked if she was scared and told her not to move because she might get cut, the affidavits stated. He also had aimed a rifle at her foot and pulled the trigger, according to the documents, which did not say whether she was struck.

On another occasion, he pointed a handgun at her and pulled the trigger, she said. A pellet from the airsoft gun hit her leg.

Christina Elmore contributed to this report.

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