Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) with a Minor Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC

CSC, or criminal sexual conduct, with a minor can be among the most emotionally charged cases for everyone involved.

If the allegations are true, it is a tragedy – when a child is hurt, people get angry. The child is hurt, the family is hurt, and most people agree that society needs to be protected from people who would hurt children.

When the allegations are false, it is still a tragedy – the child may have been hurt by someone else, or there may be other serious emotional or mental health problems that the child is facing. The fact that the allegation was made, whether it is true or not, will follow the defendant possibly for the rest of their life.

Is it better to allow ten guilty persons to walk free than to convict and imprison one innocent person?

What about when the alleged victim is a child?

These are questions that every defense attorney, prosecutor, and juror need to ask themselves – every person involved in these cases must understand what beyond any reasonable doubt means and apply that standard in this case just as they would in any other trial…

How Do You Defend Against Allegations of Child Rape or Molestation?

In many cases, an effective defense will require the use of investigators and expert witnesses.

Depending on the facts of the case, there may be:

  • Prior allegations of abuse, whether false or true;
  • A child suffering from mental or emotional illness;
  • Family members who are “coaching” a child;
  • “Transference,” or the phenomenon where a child is abused by one person but blames it on another;
  • Multiple suggestive interviews – when a child has heard a suggestion enough times, they will begin to repeat it and eventually will come to believe it; and
  • Other psychological issues that are specific to child abuse cases.

The investigator assigned to the case, the forensic interviewer, the therapist that the child is referred to, and the prosecutor assigned to the case may all be “true believers” who are “fighting the good fight” to protect children.

Many of these professionals see it as their job to believe the child, regardless of what the evidence shows. Some believe that it is better to put 10 innocent people in prison than to allow one child abuser to go free. Some will also bend the rules and withhold evidence that does not support their theory of the case…

What are the Degrees of CSC with a Minor in SC?

There are three degrees, and the punishment increases based on the age of the child and whether the defendant has prior convictions for similar offenses – the younger the child, the harsher the punishment.

All child sexual abuse offenses carry lifetime sex offender registration, and some carry lifetime GPS monitoring as well. The potential prison sentences upon conviction are:

  • CSC with a minor first degree: 25 years and up to life in prison if the alleged victim is under the age of 11, or 10 years up to 30 years in prison if the alleged victim is under the age of 16 and the defendant has any prior conviction that requires sex offender registration.
  • CSC with a minor second degree: up to 20 years if the alleged victim is under the age of 14 or if the alleged victim is under the age of 16 and the defendant was in a position of authority over the alleged victim.
  • CSC with a minor third degree: up to 15 years if the alleged victim is under the age of 16.

What is Statutory Rape in SC?

CSC with a minor is also called statutory rape – the offenses listed above do not require a lack of consent by the minor, use of force, or even knowledge of the child’s age.

CSC with a minor is one of the very few offenses in SC that do not require criminal intent to be convicted.

SC Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) with a Minor Defense Attorney in Charleston

If you have been charged with CSC with a minor or if you believe you are under investigation for CSC with a minor, do not talk with anyone – police, therapists, or family members – until you have met with an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer – call Charleston, SC rape defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.