Criminal Sexual Conduct (i.e. Rape): First, Second & Third Degrees
South Carolina law criminalizes any act in which one person engages or attempts to engage in the sexual assault or battery of another person. A sexual assault or battery can be just about any act of forced or forcible sexual intercourse. Oral sex, anal penetration and/or intrusion of any part of a non-consenting person's body are examples. Although South Carolina does not use the word "rape," this essentially describes the crime of criminal sexual conduct.
First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is as any act during which one person engages in sexual assault or battery of another. For the act to rise to the level of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, one of more of the following conditions must have been present when the sexual assault and battery occurred:
The person charged with the offense used aggravated force to accomplish a sexual assault and battery,
The person sexually assaulted was also subjected to forcible confinement, robbery, burglary or kidnapping, or
The victim was incapacitated through the use of a controlled substance.
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct encompasses any act in which one person commits a sexual assault and battery on another person and to accomplish the act uses aggravated coercion. Examples of aggravated coercion can include the use of physical force, threats of injury if resisted, or the use of a dangerous weapon to accomplish the sexual assault.
Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct does not require the presence or any aggravating factors. Rather, this crime can be prosecuted when the government and prove a person used force or coercion (but no aggravating factors) or the person knew, or should have had reason to know, that the victim was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.
Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor by Degree
First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor can be charged when a person commits an act of sexual activity with a person who is under the age of eleven. This requires both proof of a sexual battery (i.e. penetration, however slight) or oral sex and proof that the alleged victim was less than eleven years of age when the sexual battery took place.
The second type of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor can occur if a person commits a sexual battery on a victim under the age of sixteen and either: has a prior sex crime conviction for a sex crime as defined by law or was already on the sex offender registry when the sexual assault and battery took place.
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor punishes the same conduct as First Degree, but the age of the alleged victim is the key difference. This charge is brought when the alleged victim less than fourteen but at least eleven years of age. This charge can also be brought in response to an allegation that a person committed a sexual battery a person at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old if the person who allegedly committed the assault was either older than the alleged victim or in a position of authority over him or her.
Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor was known as Lewd Act years ago. This charges criminalizes inappropriate touching of a minor child less than sixteen years committed by a person over the age of fourteen. The touching must have been committed with lewd or lascivious intent. In other words, if someone inappropriately touches a child with the intent of arousing themselves or the child, then that person is guilty of Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor. Sexual battery is not a requirement of this charge.
A harmless prank or simply urinating in a public place can lead to the serious criminal charge indecent exposure. A conviction can force mandatory registration as a sex offender, which can do unfathomable damage to your reputation, career and future opportunities.
This crime is simply the intentional exposure of private parts in public. While this charge is often classified as a misdemeanor, exposure in front of a child can result in a felony charge. Indecent exposure charges commonly result from: flashing, urinating in public, exposing genitals in public and exposing genitals to a minor. It is up to a judge to decide whether a person who pleads to this charge will be placed on the Sex Offender Registry.
Prostitution is the payment of money in exchange for a sexual act. In South Carolina, prostitution is illegal both for the person receiving payment (the prostitute) and the person paying (the customer or client). City, county, and state law enforcement throughout South Carolina run prostitution stings in order to manufacture arrests for the the act of prostitution. For example, law enforcement has been known to utilize a female officer and create a fictitious backpage.com or craigslist.org listing with the intent of attracting "John Does."
A prostitution arrest has the real possibility of becoming a life altering event. Freedom, employment, social standing and even family relationships are put at risk. Many times people are too embarrassed or afraid to seek out legal help, but failing to consult with a criminal defense lawyer about a prostitution arrest is a mistake.
Since prostitution is a criminal offense anyone convicted of this charge will be branded with a publicly available criminal record. In addition, for profit companies such as the owners of mugshots.com attempt to make money of people desiring to scrub any record of a prostitution arrest off the Internet. We have experience and success protecting people from all of the potential consequences of both prostitution arrests and convictions.
The Sex Offender Registry and Registry Violations
Sex Offender Registration Is Mandatory For:
Criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third degree
Assaults with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct
Criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first degree or third degree
Criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree—but not for consensual sex acts if the offender is 18 or less or it involved consensual acts between people under age 16.
Kidnapping a person under 18, unless the offender is a parent. If the victim is 18 or older, the judge must make a finding on the record it did not include a sex offense or an attempted one.
Certain sex crimes against spouses
Criminal sexual solicitation of a minor
Potential Registration: Indecent exposure can result in the judge ordering you to register. You can also be ordered to register for any other conviction if the judge finds that good cause has been shown by the prosecution.
There’s Virtually No Escape
Registration is for life. You register twice a year at the Sheriff’s Department in each county where you reside, own land, work, or are involved with a school—it’s not limited to attendance. Moving requires written notice of your change of address to the Sheriff within three business days. If you leave the county, you notify the Sheriff of the old county and the new one. If you leave the state, you notify the Sheriff here. The same applies if you change jobs or get involved with a new school.
If you come to South Carolina from another state to live, work, get involved in school, or just buy land and if you’re required to register, you must do so within three business days.
Failure to register or give notice of change of address, job change, or school involvement is a crime. It is not a defense to register after being arrested for the violation. Using false information to register is also a crime. Both crimes carry up to a year and a day in prison, just for a first offense.
The only way to get off the registry is to have your conviction overturned and get acquitted on retrial or have the charges dismissed. A pardon keeps you on the registry unless it’s based on a finding of not guilty, specifically stated in the pardon. You can’t count on that. The best way to defend against the sex offender registry is to prevent getting on it.