HURON, S.D. (AP) - Jury selection starts Wednesday in the trial of a South Dakota bar owner accused of raping a 12-year-old girl and two 14-year-olds after serving them booze.
Prosecutors allege 35-year-old Werner Fajardo (fa-HAHR'-doh) provided alcohol to the three girls at his El Cuervo bar in Huron and assaulted them. He's pleaded not guilty.
Fajardo's defense lawyer had argued for a change of venue, saying she was concerned about potential jurors' views on race. But Judge Jon Erickson denied the motion to move the trial.
Erickson also ruled that news organizations will not be able to use TV cameras or audio recording devices in the courtroom during the trial.
44-year-old Jim Chaney appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.
Prosecutors say Chaney tried to cover up his girlfriend's methamphetamine use by hiding her used needles in his office. The City Council accepted Chaney's resignation shortly after news broke of the charge.
A jury trial has been set for Oct. 30-31. Chaney faces up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted.
Chaney's lawyer has asked that the trial be moved out of Charles Mix County.