Age of Consent May Change in South Carolina

11:20 AM, Apr 4, 2007   |    comments
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(Columbia) -- A proposal heading for the Senate floor would let voters decide whether to remove a line from the state Constitution that allows 14-year-old girls to consent to sex. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the constitutional amendment Tuesday. Senator Chip Campsen is sponsoring the bill. He called the provision a relic that contradicts state law, which sets the age of consent at 16 in most cases. Prosecutor Trey Gowdy has said legislators are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. In 1936, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled the constitutional clause has no bearing on criminal law. Gowdy says the 14-year-old "unmarried woman" provision also may violate the US Constitution's equal protection clause.

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