MARYLAND

Case turned down: The U.S. Supreme Court declined yesterday to hear the appeal of a Salvadoran immigrant who said that Prince George's County police officers violated his civil rights when they bound him to a pole and left him for Montgomery County authorities to pick up.

Earlier, a federal appeals court had upheld a lower court's ruling, which awarded Nelson Robles $40,000, but said the officers were entitled to "qualified immunity" because they were not aware that they were violating Robles's constitutional rights.

The case stems from a 1996 incident when now-retired Prince George's County police Lt. James Rozer and Officer Antonio DeBarros came across Robles during a public nuisance call and realized Robles was wanted in Montgomery County for traffic violations. When Montgomery police couldn't pick Robles up, the Prince George's officers drove him across the county line and bound him to a pole.

Ex-priest sentenced: A former Roman Catholic priest who served in Prince George's and Montgomery counties was sentenced to probation yesterday for molesting a boy nearly 40 years ago while counseling the boy's mother about divorce, State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler said.

James A. Finan, 70, who had previously been jailed in another molestation case, pleaded guilty in January to fondling the boy, who was then 7 or 8 years old, while Finan spent a night at the boy's home in Silver Spring in 1966, Gansler said in a written statement. Finan, former pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Laurel and Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kensington, lives in the District.

Circuit Court Judge Ann S. Harrington sentenced Finan to a suspended five-year sentence and five years' probation. He was defrocked in 1996.

Life sentence: A 25-year-old Baltimore man who authorities say recruited three associates to help him carjack, rob and eventually kill a Glen Burnie pharmacist in August 2001 was sentenced yesterday by a federal judge in Baltimore to life in prison without parole.

Minutes earlier, Jamal Barnes had pleaded guilty in the death of Yvette Beakes, 26. He could have faced the death penalty had he gone to trial.

Authorities say Barnes shot Beakes, a randomly selected victim, in the head in a wooded area in southwest Baltimore. His three accomplices, all teenagers, pleaded guilty last year to first-degree murder and related charges.

THE DISTRICT

Ex-official found guilty: Terence Coles, 39, a former Williams administration official indicted in May for allegedly receiving kickbacks from $20,000 in city grants, was convicted of bribery, fraud and other charges yesterday in U.S. District Court. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced in June.

Prosecutors said Coles used his position as a special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia to win grants for two phony nonprofit groups. In return, prosecutors said, Coles got $7,500.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.