Criminal sexual conduct charges in South Carolina

South Carolina criminal law spells out a wide variety of crimes that are referred to as criminal sexual conductcriminal sexual conduct.  These crimes follow varying degrees of severity and consequences. They are defined by South Carolina General Statute 16-3-651.  Some of them would be considered rape, and some of them would not.

In this Blog we will discuss some varying degrees of criminal sexual conduct and give a general idea of what they mean. Criminal sexual conduct in South Carolina centers around sexual battery and is defined by South Carolina General Statute 16-3-651.  Keep in mind that in the context of a crime, all the elements refer to non-consensual activity.

Sexual battery

  • South Carolina criminal law defines sexual battery as 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.

Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree

When the defendant commits sexual battery of the victim along with any of the following:

  • The defendant used aggravated force
  • The victim submits to sexual battery by the actor under circumstances where the victim is also the victim of forcible confinement, kidnapping, trafficking in persons, robbery, extortion, burglary, housebreaking, or any other similar offense or act
  • The actor causes the victim, without the victim’s consent, to become mentally incapacitated or physically helpless by administering, distributing, dispensing, delivering, or causing to be administered, distributed, dispensed, or delivered a controlled substance, a controlled substance analogue, or any intoxicating substance
Punishment for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree
  • If a defendant is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, he can face up to thirty years in prison.

Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree

  • A defendant commits criminal sexual conduct in the second degree if he uses aggravated coercion to achieve sexual battery.
Punishment for criminal sexual conduct in the second degree
  • If a defendant is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, he can face up to twenty years in prison.

Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree

When the defendant commits sexual battery of the victim along with any of the following:

  • The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual battery in the absence of aggravating circumstances.
  • The actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless and aggravated force or aggravated coercion was not used to accomplish sexual battery.
Punishment for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree
  • If a defendant is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, he can face up to ten years in prison.

There are various sex crimes in South Carolina, and this is a basic overview of just one of them.  South Carolina criminal defense lawyers are trained to deal with these crimes and a variety of other crimes.  If you need a York criminal defense lawyer or a Lancaster criminal defense lawyer, contact us.  At Gilles Law, we practice North Carolina Criminal Defense and South Carolina Criminal Defense.