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What is Statutory Rape Law and Punishments in South Carolina?

In the state of Georgia, South Carolina, it is illegal for adults aged 18 and above to have sexual relations with minors aged 15 and below, even when the sex is consensual. Statutory rape laws are created on the premise that minors are not able to give informed consent towards sexual relations.

Their incapacity to provide consent is written into the statute, which is where statutory rape comes from. The age of consent varies from state to state with a few states differentiating between consensual sex between two minors close in age in comparison with sex between a much older adult and a minor.

While statutory rape does not need the prosecutor to prove an assault, it is still considered rape. It is of course rape not involving force or a crime that is illegal in South Carolina and charged as forcible rape. Assaults that are sexual could also be charged under the state's child enticement or molestation laws. There are separate laws for rape between spouses.

South Carolina Statutory Rape Law

How does South Carolina prosecute rap laws?

Statutory rape is prosecuted under South Carolina’s sexual assault laws. Penalties depend upon the age of parties and form of sexual contact which occurs.

First-degree sexual conduct with minors occurs when there is sexual relations or penetration between minors aged 10 or younger and defendants of any age group. This conviction could result in 25 years or more in prison, minus the possibility of parole.

Second-degree sexual conduct with minors occurs when sexual penetration occurs, intercourse, oral or anal sex between minors of ages 11, 12 or 13 and defendants of any age. This is also inclusive of intercourse, penetration, oral or anal sex between 14 and 15 years old. This a felony and can incur up to almost 20 years in prison.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors in South Caroline occur when defendants aged 18 and above commit lewd acts on minors aged 16 years and younger. A lewd act is defined as sexual contact meant to gratify the defendant's sexual requirements. This offense is a felony with a conviction resulting up to 15 years in prison.

Statutory Rape Law South Carolina

What is sex offender registration?

State law enforces on top of prison time and applicable fines, for individuals convicted of a certain crime or nature to register as sex offenders for a specific time period. Example – a conviction for first-degree criminal sexual assault with minors forces the defendant to be a lifetime registered sex offender.

Defending a statutory rape charge

Defendants charged with statutory rape contain the same defenses found available to every other criminal defendant such as "somebody else did this crime" or "that incident did not take place". However, under South Carolina law, a few other defenses could apply in statutory rape cases.

Statutory rape marital exception

South Carolina has marital exemptions for statutory rape allowing consensual sex between married female and their adult spouse (aged 14 versus much older), or a married male and his adult spouse (aged 16 and much older), even with their ages prohibiting it if they weren’t married to each other.

South Carolina Rape Laws

Minors are legally not allowed to give consent to sexual activities. Example if Betty, a 15-year-old willingly has sex with her Jerry aged 23 years old, Jerry could face a rape charge. This is thanks to Betty not being legally capable of providing consent in this scenario.

However, if Betty and Jerry were married and living together in South Carolina, Jerry does not need to fear criminal charges for engaging in consensual sex with Betty.

South Carolina Sex Offender Search

Performing a sex offender search can help you find out who has committed sex crimes that you should know about, including violations of South Carolina statutory rape laws. To find out who is a South Carolina registered sex offender, you can use an online search directory that will provide you with this data, like GoLookUp.

There are two directories on the website that can reveal who has violated South Carolina statutory rape laws; a name-based criminal records search, and a zipcode search. With the first type of search, you need to enter a name of a person into the directory. When the search is complete, you will get a report that contains the name of the said person, their aliases, the crimes they committed, the sex crimes they committed, their contact information, and additional data.

When performing a zipcode search, you need to enter a South Carolina zip code into the directory. As soon as you do, the search engine will scan public records, and it will provide you with information about all the registered sex offenders who live in that area. At the end of the search, you will get a list of sex offenders that includes the names of the sex offenders, the crimes they committed, additional crimes they committed, their mugshots, and other public records information.