Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in South Carolina

Sexual Exploitation of a Minorsexual exploitation of a minor

There are several crimes of a sexual nature involving minors in the state of South Carolina. With this wide variety of offenses comes a very wide range of consequences.  In this Blog, we will discuss only sexual exploitation of a minor.   This is a serious crime that can have serious consequences; therefore, if you are charged with this crime, you should hire a South Carolina criminal defense attorney right away.

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in General

All levels of sexual exploitation of a minor relate to the possession, dissemination or exhibition of materials that portray persons under the age of 18 in a sexually explicit nude state.  All levels of this crime are felonies in South Carolina. For the purposes of South Carolina General Statutes that cover this crime, material can mean; pictures, drawings, video recordings, films, digital electronic files, or other visual depictions or representations.  This would not include representations consisting entirely of written words.

Typically, in order for it to rise to the level of sexual exploitation, the material in question has to be considered harmful, and South Carolina’s standard for that is: The material would be found offensive by contemporary community standards, has the tendency to appeal to the prurient interests of minors, and it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

First-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • Among other activities, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by showing that the defendant did any of the following:
  • Facilitated, coerced or encouraged a live performance or produced material with sexually explicit activity with a minor; or
  • Permitted a minor in their care or custody to perform in a live performance or to have material made in a sexually explicit manner; or
  • Transported or financed the transportation of a minor across the state of South Carolina with the intent of the minor engaging in sexual activity or producing sexually explicit material; or
  • Recorded, photographed, or filmed sexually explicit material involving a child.

Punishment for first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than twenty years. No part of the minimum sentence of imprisonment may be suspended.

Second-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • Among other activities, second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by showing that the defendant did any of following:
  • Records, photographs or films a minor in sexually explicit activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity when a reasonable person would infer the purpose of sexual stimulation; or
  • Distributed, transported or exchanged materials involving a minor engaged in sex or appearing In a state of sexually explicit nudity when a reasonable person would infer the purpose of sexual stimulation.

Punishment for second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is imprisonment for no less than two years and more than ten years.  No part of the sentence can be suspended.

Third-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor
  • The state of South Carolina can prove this level of the crime by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, knowing the character or content of the material, possessed material that contained the visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity when a reasonable person would infer the purpose is sexual stimulation.

Punishment for third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is imprisonment for not more than ten years.

Sexual exploitation of a minor is a serious crime that requires placing the convicted person’s name on the sex offender registry.  If you have been charged with this or any other crime, Contact us.  At Gilles Law, we handle South Carolina criminal law, and we can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.