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Sellers Introduces Legislation Increasing Penalties

March 23, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2010

Contact: Rep. Bakari Sellers, 803-734-3003

BakariSellers@schouse.gov

Sellers Introduces Legislation Increasing Penalties

for Sexual Assaults in School

[COLUMBIA, SC] – With all of the attention being placed on budgets and shortfalls, Rep. Bakari Sellers, (Dist. No. 90 — Bamberg-Barnwell-Orangeburg) reminded us of the importance of protecting our students against sexual violence in schools when he introduced a bill Wednesday, March 10, 2010, to increase the penalties for persons affiliated with a school who commit sexual violence against students.

H. 4735 makes it a felony to commit sexual battery against a student who is sixteen or seventeen years old, and makes it a misdemeanor if the sexual battery is committed against students who are eighteen years old.  This bill reinforces weak spots in the current legislation, by adding offenses for assaults committed without aggravated coercion or aggravated force, and by adding offenses against victims over the age of eighteen who are under the supervision of school officials.

“An epidemic of sexual violence against students is sweeping the nation, and South Carolinians must take a tough stand against such crimes,” said Sellers.

Rep. Sellers and the other members of the House Democratic Caucus continue to fight to make South Carolina safer for the most vulnerable among us.  Democrats believe that South Carolinians in schools deserve to be safe from sexual violence.

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