So Alvin Greene, the Democratic nominee to challenge Jim DeMint in South Carolina, got indicted:
U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene, a political unknown who became the surprise winner of the South Carolina Democratic primary, was indicted Friday by a grand jury on obscenity charges. Greene was indicted on one felony count of “disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity,” according to the Richland County clerk of courts.He was also indicted on a misdemeanor count of “communicating an obscene message to another person without consent.” […]
Greene was charged by police in November with showing pornographic material to a female University of South Carolina student on a computer in the school’s library. The alleged victim, according to university police, also said Greene asked if he could come to her room.
Chew on this for a moment:
- “Obscenity” actually has a legal standard. A ridiculously vague one, one that proves the concept itself nonsensical, but a standard nonetheless. There is a difference, within that standard, between “obscenity” and mere pornography. This makes any indictment on obscenity charges, including this one, in effect a redrawing of the line. What exactly Greene is alleged to have showed this woman is HIGHLY relevant in that regard.
- The standard for obscenity defines it as a loophole to 1st Amendment protection. So, if what Greene accessed is obscene to the point where it is a crime to show it to people, that also means it could be a crime to even make it (this is the kind of question that nearly got John Stagliano sent up the river).
- The allegation is that he showed this material — which hasn’t even been established as anything beyond garden variety porn, at least not in the press — to a college student. Considering that there’s no mention of her being a child prodigy like this guy, it can safely be assumed that she’s at least 18. So, no involvement of a minor to point at.
- The mention that he asked to come up to her room is completely irrelevant to the charge. If he had done something like grope her or grab her arm, then there’d be grounds for assault charges, but he apparently accepted the rejection — which should’ve been the end of it.
So, if the allegation is true, Alvin Greene made a ridiculously crude pass at a grown woman, with the aid of some porn. Which failed. This is a felony? I smell ham…