Attorney General, SLED agree to remove individuals unjustly published as sex offenders since 2003.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2022
CONTACT: Laura Swinford, 314-856-2799, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBIA, SC — The American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina today announced a settlement agreement with Attorney General Alan Wilson and State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Chief Mark Keel that removes individuals convicted of sodomy from the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry. The settlement enforces Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 ruling from the United States Supreme Court that struck down anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional.
“For nearly 20 years, South Carolina has used the Sex Offender Registry to track, shame, and ostracize these individuals for engaging in consensual and constitutionally-protected behavior,” said Allen Chaney, Director of Legal Advocacy for the ACLU of South Carolina. “I am pleased that the State agreed to settle the case, but discouraged that we had to sue at all.”
“While it comes almost two decades later than it should have, I’m happy we were able to obtain justice for these men and put an end to this unconstitutional practice,” said Matthew Strugar, a Los Angeles-based civil rights attorney who served as co-counsel on the case.
The order is filed under seal to protect the privacy of those individuals who have been unjustly classified as sex offenders, and will now have their rights and records restored in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina Columbia Division.