College students who live, attend school or just have fun in the greater Myrtle Beach area could in the right circumstances face sexual assault charges.
Recent cases across the country have put a spotlight on problems with sexual misconduct on college campuses and among students.
These stories may have given South Carolina’s police officers and prosecutors incentive to take these cases very seriously, sometimes at the cost of being as fair to defendants as they should be.
Crimes related to sexual assault carry severe penalties with them.
For example, someone who engages in intercourse or related sexual behavior without consent can be convicted of a felony and face up to 10 years in prison.
It is important to realize that prosecutors can charge this crime in situations where the victim was incapable of giving consent, such as in the case of extreme intoxication.
More serious penalties apply when there are aggravating circumstances, such as cases where someone uses drugs or alcohol to make someone not capable of giving consent. These penalties can include up to 30 years in prison.
Not surprisingly, different, and harsher, penalties apply when a victim is under the age of legal consent.
People living in or visiting South Carolina can also face assault and battery charges related to sexual misconduct.
Any touching of another person’s private parts, even above one’s clothing, can land a person in jail for up to 3 years, and the punishment is harsher if the accused acted in an obvious sexual manner.
Students accused of sex crimes may need to fight for their futures
In addition to criminal penalties, convictions for sex crimes can mean will have to have her name listed on a sex offender registry.
A conviction may also ruin professional and personal opportunities and will likely mean the person, if a college student, will not be allowed to finish school. Someone accused of a sex offense will therefore want to understand his rights and options.