South Carolina -- Age of Consent

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3/2002:
We received this Email:
SC's laws regarding "sodomy" as they defined homosexuality was invalidated by their Supreme Court in 1998 if it was done by consenting adults. But great and informative site.

EDITOR:  Sorry, we can't support this information.   We have searched our sources and can't find documentation which supports this position.

Also 3/2002: 
I am now 24 years old, but I am facing charges for something done while I was 23. I was involved in a relationship with a young lady who was 13 years old. Her parents knew of this relationship and even allowed me to live in their home. I was told by the young lady's mother that "she wouldn't mind having me for a son in law" and the father told his daughter to "stick with John, he is a good man, and he will treat you right!". After the relationship prospered, the parents decided that I was a distraction to their daughter and I should not be allowed to see her again. When I refused, they pressed charges against me for criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree(in South Carolina) and I am facing considerable time in jail. My question is this if the parents knew of the relationship and allowed it to continue, is it legal for them to press these charges. I have fully admitted to having sex with this young lady and it is well known that she and I were in a relationship together. We had even planned to get married. What do u think? I have searched everywhere I can look for more information and I can't find any. What do u think? Any comments on this situation would be helpful!

EDITOR:  NO ONE may give permission to anyone else to violate the law.  She was below the age of consent for the state in which you reside.  

 

 

8/2000 UPDATE:
We recently received numerous questions regarding South Carolina laws.  When we returned to the state website, we learned that the legal situation in SC did change.  By the way, the state website is SO slow.  It can take 20 minutes or MORE to display some of the larger pages (with all the statutes).

We also learned that the "age of sexual consent" for South Carolina residents is part of the South Carolina CONSTITUTION -- which is an extremely rare situation.  However, as you read this updated information, remember that NO law or amendment has ever been written clearly.

As you read the following (which is officially known as bill 332, act 3, http://www.scstatehouse.net/bills/332.htm),
you should realize that in 1998 the VOTERS of South Carolina were presented with an amendment to the state constitution (which we think was based on bill 1000) regarding the age of sexual consent.  We don't fully understand the scope of the amendment, because our records indicate that the constitution placed the age at 14 anyway.  However this amendment solidified the position of the people.

BUT -- you need to read the laws that were ADDED to SC law -- presented after the constitution. 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Constitutional amendment ratified

SECTION 1. The amendment to Section 33, Article III of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, prepared under the terms of joint resolution 444 of 1998, having been submitted to the qualified electors at the general election of 1998 as prescribed in Section 1, Article XVI of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and a favorable vote having been received on the amendment, is ratified and declared to be a part of the Constitution so that Section 33 of Article III is amended to read:

"Section 33. No unmarried woman shall legally consent to sexual intercourse who shall not have attained the age of fourteen years."

Ratified the 16th day of February, 1999.

Editor's Note:  The above ratification also removed the law that prohibited whites and negroes from marrying!  Up until Feb, 1999, interracial marriages were ILLEGAL! 

Editor's Note - Revised 11-25-00:  We received this email which corrected the above statement:
"In your section on South Carolina law, you write "Editor's Note The above ratification also removed the law that prohibited whites and negroes from marrying! Up until Feb, 1999, interracial marriages were ILLEGAL!"  This is not correct. While it may be true that the law had not be removed  from the texts, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Loving v. Virginia,  decided in the early 1960s, reversed all of the state laws that prevented interracial marriages."   We appreciate the correction and update.  Good information from visitors is what makes this site excellent in content and accuracy.  Thank you.

 

FROM THE READING OF THE REVISED STATE CONSTITUTION
SECTION 33. Age of consent.

No unmarried woman shall legally consent to sexual intercourse who shall not have attained the age of fourteen years. (1999 Act No. 3, SECTION 1, eff February 16, 1999)


IT IS OUR OPINION,
that the age of sexual consent in South Carolina is SIXTEEN (16)!   Although the constitution specifies a different age, you must read the following laws that were added to the state books.  We are unable to find proof that the governor signed these bills, but both houses did approve them.  Also see Sec 16-15-140. IT IS OUR OPINION,
that the age of sexual consent in South Carolina is SIXTEEN (16)!   Although the constitution specifies a different age, you must read the following laws that were added to the state books.  We are unable to find proof that the governor signed these bills, but both houses did approve them.  Also see Sec 16-15-140.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:   (Bill 185)(Bill 3020 similar)

SECTION 1. Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 16-3-1600. As used in this article:

(1) 'Sexual battery' means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person's body, except when such intrusion is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes.

(2) 'Sexual fondling' means the intentional touching or caressing of another person's intimate parts.

(3) 'Intimate parts' includes the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female human being and the breasts of a female human being.

(4) 'Actor' means a person accused of sexual enticement of a minor."

SECTION 2. Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 16-3-1610. A person is guilty of sexual enticement of a minor if that person entices, solicits, induces, coerces,
encourages, persuades, seduces, or lures a person under the age of sixteen, or any person the actor believes to be under the age of sixteen, to engage in sexual battery or sexual fondling with the actor or any other person when the actor is at least three years older than the victim.

Sexual enticement of a minor includes but is not limited to oral or written communications including but not limited to communications by telephone, computer, or other electronic means."  
INCLUDES INTERNET!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998 UPDATE:  Bill pending to raise age of consent
(status is unknown as of 8/27/98)
Updated 8/1/00

 

SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1997 Code of Laws
(unannotated)

Current through the end of the 1997 Regular Session

 

  •  


Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses

CHAPTER 15.

OFFENSES AGAINST MORALITY AND DECENCY

ARTICLE 1.

MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES

SECTION 16-15-50. Seduction under promise of marriage.

A male over the age of sixteen years who by means of deception and promise of marriage seduces an unmarried woman in this State is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined at the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than one year. There must not be a conviction under this section on the uncorroborated testimony of the woman upon whom the seduction is charged, and no conviction if at trial it is proved that the woman was at the time of the alleged offense lewd and unchaste. If the defendant in any action brought under this section contracts marriage with the woman, either before or after the conviction, further proceedings of this section are stayed.

SECTION 16-15-60. Adultery or fornication.

Any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and, on conviction, shall be severally punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-15-70. "Adultery" defined.

"Adultery" is the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse with each other without living together of a man and woman when either is lawfully married to some other person.

SECTION 16-15-80. "Fornication" defined.

"Fornication" is the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse with each other without living together of a man and woman, both being unmarried.

 

SECTION 16-15-120. Buggery.

Whoever shall commit the abominable crime of buggery, whether with mankind or with beast, shall, on conviction, be guilty of felony and shall be imprisoned in the Penitentiary for five years or shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars, or both, at the discretion of the court.

SECTION 16-15-130. Indecent exposure.

It is unlawful for a person to wilfully, maliciously, and indecently expose his person in a public place, on property of others, or to the view of any person on a street or highway.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

SECTION 16-15-140. Committing or attempting lewd act upon child under sixteen.

It is unlawful for a person over the age of fourteen years to wilfully and lewdly commit or attempt a lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or its parts, of a child under the age of sixteen years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of the person or of the child.

A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both.

ARTICLE 3.

OBSCENITY, MATERIAL HARMFUL TO MINORS, CHILD EXPLOITATION, AND CHILD .... PROSTITUTION

SECTION 16-15-325. Participation in preparation of obscene material prohibited; penalties.

Any individual who knowingly:

(a) photographs himself or any other individual or animal for purposes of preparing an obscene film, photograph, negative, slide, videotapes, or motion picture for the purpose of dissemination; or

(b) models, poses, acts, or otherwise assists in the preparation of any obscene film, photograph, negative, slide, videotapes, or motion picture for the purpose of dissemination is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for not more than one year and fined not more than one thousand dollars.

SECTION 16-15-335. Permitting minor to engage in any act constituting violation of this article prohibited; penalties.

Any individual eighteen years of age or older who knowingly, in any manner, hires, employs, uses, or permits any person under the age of eighteen years to do or assist in doing any act or thing constituting an offense under this article and involving any material, act, or thing he knows or reasonably should know to be obscene within the meaning of Section 16-15-305 is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for not more than five years.

 

SECTION 16-15-375. Definitions applicable to Sections 16-15-385 through 16-15-425.

The following definitions apply to Section 16-15-385, disseminating or exhibiting to minors harmful material or performances; Section 16-15-387, employing a person under the age of eighteen years to appear in a state of sexually explicit nudity in a public place; Section 16-15-395, first degree sexual exploitation of a minor; Section 16-15-405, second degree sexual exploitation of a minor; Section 16-15-410, third degree sexual exploitation of a minor; Section 16-15-415, promoting prostitution of a minor; and Section 16-15-425, participating in prostitution of a minor.

(1) "Harmful to minors" means that quality of any material or performance that depicts sexually explicit nudity or sexual activity and that, taken as a whole, has the following characteristics:

(a) the average adult person applying contemporary community standards would find that the material or performance has a predominant tendency to appeal to a prurient interest of minors in sex; and

(b) the average adult person applying contemporary community standards would find that the depiction of sexually explicit nudity or sexual activity in the material or performance is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community concerning what is suitable for minors; and

(c) to a reasonable person, the material or performance taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

(2) "Material" means pictures, drawings, video recordings, films, or other visual depictions or representations but not material consisting entirely of written words.

(3) "Minor" means an individual who is less than eighteen years old.

(4) "Prostitution" means engaging or offering to engage in sexual activity with or for another in exchange for anything of value.

(5) "Sexual activity" includes any of the following acts or simulations thereof:

(a) masturbation, whether done alone or with another human or animal;

(b) vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, whether done with another human or an animal;

(c) touching, in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or sexual abuse, of the clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, or buttocks of another person or the clothed or unclothed breasts of a human female;

(d) an act or condition that depicts bestiality, sado-masochistic abuse, meaning flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude or clad in undergarments or in a costume which reveals the pubic hair, anus, vulva, genitals, or female breast nipples, or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained on the part of the one so clothed;

(e) excretory functions;

(f) the insertion of any part of a person's body, other than the male sexual organ, or of any object into another person's anus or vagina, except when done as part of a recognized medical procedure.

(6) "Sexually explicit nudity" means the showing of:

(a) uncovered, or less than opaquely covered, human genitals, pubic area, or buttocks, or the nipple or any portion of the areola of the human female breast; or

(b) covered human male genitals in a discernably turgid state.

 


 

Bill 1000

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

 


                    Current Status

Bill Number:                    1000
Type of Legislation:            Joint Resolution JR
Introducing Body:               Senate
Introduced Date:                19980205
Primary Sponsor:                Ford
All Sponsors:                   Ford and Holland 
Drafted Document Number:        jud9041.rf
Residing Body:                  House
Current Committee:              Judiciary Committee 25 HJ
Subject:                        Sexual intercourse, age of consent
                                for unmarried minor to be sixteen;
                                Domestic Relations, Crimes,
                                Constitution of S.C.

 

History

 

Body    Date      Action Description                       Com     Leg Involved
______  ________  _______________________________________  _______ ____________

House   19980505  Introduced, read first time,             25 HJ
                  referred to Committee
Senate  19980501  Read third time, sent to House
Senate  19980430  Read second time, unanimous
                  consent for third reading on 
                  Friday, 19980501
Senate  19980429  Committee report: Favorable              11 SJ
Senate  19980205  Introduced, read first time,             11 SJ
                  referred to Committee



 

Product of the Legislative Printing Agency-LPITR

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

COMMITTEE REPORT

April 29, 1998

S. 1000

Introduced by Senators Ford and Holland

S. Printed 4/29/98--S.

Read the first time February 5, 1998.

 

THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

To whom was referred a Joint Resolution (S. 1000), proposing an amendment to Article III, Section 33 of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, relating to the age of consent to sexual intercourse for an unmarried person, etc., respectfully

REPORT:

That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:

C. TYRONE COURTNEY, for Committee.

 

 

 

A JOINT RESOLUTION

PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE III, SECTION 33 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO THE AGE OF CONSENT TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE FOR AN UNMARRIED PERSON, SO AS TO RAISE THE AGE OF CONSENT FROM FOURTEEN TO SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. It is proposed that Article III, Section 33 of the Constitution of this State be amended to read:

"Section 33. The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood, shall be unlawful and void. No unmarried woman person shall legally consent to sexual intercourse who shall not have attained the age of fourteen sixteen years."

SECTION 2. The proposed amendment must be submitted to the qualified electors at the next general election for representatives. Ballots must be provided at the various voting precincts with the following words printed or written on the ballot:

"Shall Article III, Section 33 of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to increase the age for an unmarried person to legally consent to sexual intercourse from fourteen to sixteen years of age?

Yes []

No []

Those voting in favor of the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word 'Yes', and those voting against the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word 'No'."

-----XX-----


Legislative Printing-LPITR@http://www.lpitr.state.sc.us

 

07-2000 New Source: U.S. statutory rape laws is published on the Web by the National
Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. The booklet, which
requires Adobe Acrobat to read, is located at:


http://www.calib.com/nccanch/pubs/99statutes/35-SexualOffenses.PDF

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