Everything You Need to Know About South Carolina Sexual Assault Laws: Explained
Sexual assault can be an extremely difficult topic for victims to deal with. Here is everything you need to know about South Carolina sexual assault laws: explained.
Sexual assault laws in South Carolina can impact the way victims can seek justice after an assault. Understanding sexual assault laws can better equip individuals to bring legal action against their abusers.
What is Considered Sexual Assault in South Carolina
Sexual assault can be defined as sexual contact or behavior that occurs with the clear consent of the victim. Examples of sexual assault include:
- Attempted rape
- Inappropriate touching
- Verbal harassment
- Public indecency
- Sexual contact with minors
South Carolina Sexual Assault Laws
It is illegal in South Carolina to engage in sexual acts with another person who hasn’t consented, can’t consent, or is coerced. Some of the most common levels of sexual assault charges are as follows:
- First-degree criminal sexual assault. This occurs when the offender engages in sexual battery with the victim and there was a force, a deadly weapon, no consent, and the assault was accompanied by various other crimes.
- Second degree criinal sexual assult. This is when an abuser coerces a victim to engage in sexual conduct with threats of force
Third-degree criminal sexual assault. This is when an offender engages in sexual conduct with the victims through coercion or knowing the victim was mentally or physically incapacitated
- Spousal sexual batter. This occurs when one spouse used aggravated force against the other during sexual contact.
Statutory rape. This can also be categorized within the three degrees and usually involves underage victims being coerced into sexual contact.
How to File a Sexual Assault Case in South Carolina
Victims who have experienced sexual assault have options when determining when and how to bring charges against their abusers. Individuals can file a civil case which is used to punish indinvuasl who have violated the law. To win a civil sexual assault case, victims must prove the defendant is guilty beyond unreasonable doubt. This means they must prove:
- The person was responsible for the sexual assault or abuse
- Any injuries were a result of the assault or abuse
Some evidence victims can use to help their case include:
- Recording, photos, or security footage of the assault
- Friend and family testimonies
- Medical reports and tests
- Physical evidence such as DNA
What is the Statute of Limitation on Filing a Sexual Assault Case in South Carolina?
The statute of limitations on a civil claim for sexual assault in South Carolina is three years. Some examples of exceptions would be if the victim was a minor, or the assault was incestuous.
What Can Be Claimed In a Sexual Assault Case in South Carolina?
Victims of sexual assault in South Carolina may be entitled to financial and emotional damages. Some examples of what a victim may claim to include:
- Lost wages
- Medical care/ expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Therapy and trauma care