Minors can be investigated, arrested and convicted for sexually oriented
offenses just like an adult can. Depending on the age of the child and
the specific allegation the charges can be adult charges in General Sessions or
juvenile charges in Family Court.
There are two main child molesting laws in South Carolina:
Lewd Act on a Minor makes it illegal to have sexually oriented physical contact with the body
of a child under sixteen.
Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor makes it illegal to penetrate the body of a child. There is no requirement
that the penetration be sexually oriented or motivated.
When a minor child is convicted of one of these offenses in either the
Family Court or in General Sessions the Court is
required to place them on the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry. Although most
Juvenile Court convictions remain sealed, and do not become part of a
publically available record, a child's inclusion on the Sex Offender
Registry is fully public and will last for the rest of their life.
If there are any allegations that your child has inappropriately touched
another child it is imperative that you immediately consult with an attorney
prior to allowing them to be interviewed by any school counselor, police
officer or other official. Anything they say can and may be used against
them later. By allowing them to cooperate with an investigation you may
unknowingly give them the evidence (even just circumstantial) necessary
to convict them in Court and place them on the Registry.