S.C. House approves revisions to sex offender law
By Robert W. Dalton, Spartanburg Herald
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Updated: 9:48 am ARTICLE OPTIONS
The state House, in a surprise move Wednesday morning, struck down one controversial provision of Jessica’s Law and altered another. Gone is the “mistake-of-age” defense, which prosecutors said could allow adult offenders to have sex with preteens and escape punishment if they could convince a jury they believed the child was older.
The House also changed the “Romeo clause,” the provision that made it legal for people age 18 and younger to have sex with children as young as 14. It is now a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison, but it does not require inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry.
Rep. Murrell Smith Jr., R-Sumter offered the amendment