In the age of the internet, South Carolina law makes no provision for using digital means to transmit sexually explicit material to a minor.
A group of lawmakers from the General Assembly’s Family Caucus — including Greenwood Republican John McCravy — are pushing to add the language into statute.
McCravy is a co-sponsor of H. 4514, which expands the state’s obscenity and harmful materials laws to include content sent as a “digital electronic file.”
“All this does is include the definition of dissemination of materials through electronic means as well, so what was illegal to give to a minor before is still illegal,” McCravy said. “It just gives an extra tool to the solicitor’s office.”
The measure defines “digital electronic file” as photographs sent as JPEG, TIFF or PDF files, video clips sent through Windows Media Player and QuickTime or live-streamed or previously recorded streamed content.
“We just didn’t want to leave any question in the law. This just clears things up,” McCravy said. McCravy said he supports the bill because it aligns with his ideological beliefs.
“I think it’s consistent with conservative, Christian values,” he said.
If the measure is approved, it would be a major change to the state’s dissemination of obscenity law, which was written in 1976.
McCravy, who was elected in 2016 to represent the 13th District, ran on a platform of pro-life and social conservatism.
In January, he attached his name to the “fetal personhood bill,” which defines life as beginning at fertilization and provides rights of due process and equal protection to the unborn. And in March, McCravy voted in favor of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act, which bans a procedure known as “dilate and evacuate.”
Both of those measures are awaiting further action by the Legislature, which convenes on Jan. 9.
Contact staff writer Adam Benson at 864-943-5650.