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Though it may be somewhat surprising, if the sex was consensual, sex with a 17 year old in South Carolina is not illegal. In fact, though the legal age of consent in South Carolina is 14, state statutes provide criminal penalties for sexual only for acts on a child under the age of 16. Specifically, that statute reads:
SECTION 16-15-140. Committing or attempting lewd act upon child under sixteen.
It is unlawful for a person over the age of fourteen years to wilfully and lewdly commit or attempt a lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or its parts, of a child under the age of sixteen years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of the person or of the child.
A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both.
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