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Man and woman charged with sex crime

Two South Carolina residents have been taken into custody on suspicion of committing a sex crime against a teenage girl. The alleged incident took place in Bennettsville late last year.

According to representatives of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, a 23-year-old Bennettsville woman and a 21-year-old Clio man committed sexual battery against the victim on Dec. 24, 2016. At the time of the alleged crime, the victim was just 15 years old and the defendants were both legal adults.

SLED agents said that evidence against the defendants includes a statement from the victim, Facebook messages and other witness accounts. Police documents also allege that the male defendant confessed to the crime. He is further accused of supplying alcohol and drugs to the victim for three weeks in December 2016. The male and female defendant are each charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16. The male defendant is also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Both defendants were processed at Marlboro County Jail and released on bond.

Sex crimes, including sexual battery on a minor, carry harsh penalties in South Carolina and across the U.S. If convicted, defendants may face long prison terms and steep fines. They may also be required to register as a sex offender when they are released from custody. However, sex crime defendants may be able to protect their future by seeking the representation of a criminal defense attorney. In some circumstances, an attorney could work to build a strong defense that counters the claims of the prosecution. In other cases, legal counsel could arrange for the defendant to plead guilty to lesser charges.

Source: WBTW, "Marlboro County duo jailed for sex crime against 15-year-old", Jo Brown, Oct. 24, 2017

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