Lawsuit: SC man says he still has to register as sex offender for having sex with another man

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 4:01 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2021 at 4:21 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A South Carolina man is suing Attorney General Alan Wilson and SLED Chief Mark Keel, claiming that he still has to register as a sex offender for a buggery charge in which he says he was convicted, and later pardoned, for having consensual sex with another man.

The man, identified as “John Doe” in the lawsuit, says he was convicted for the charge in 2001, two years before the Supreme Court ruled that laws that criminalized homosexual sex violated due process and are invalid under the 14th amendment.

The lawsuit states that John Doe’s partner was also convicted of buggery.

Doe’s lawyers say their client was pardoned in 2006 for the charge, but their client is still subject to sex offense registration restrictions.

“It shows how the lingering effects of centuries of homophobic ‘sodomy’ prohibitions persist and asks this Court to put an end to South Carolina’s discrimination,” lawyers stated in the suit.

The suit states that South Carolina continues to enforce its criminal sodomy statute titled “Buggery” which requires people convicted of the charge to register as sex offenders.

John Doe is suing to stop the enforcement of the state’s buggery prohibition, and have his name removed from the sex offender registry as well as expunge all records of his information from that database.

When asked for comment, the attorney general’s office said they cannot comment on pending litigation. Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said they do not have a comment at this time.

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