Legislators make student-teacher sex a felony

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - Sex between high school teachers and older students would become a crime under a measure approved by South Carolina legislators.

The House and Senate approved a compromise late Wednesday on a measure that says school employees in supervisory roles can be sent to prison for up to five years for having sex with 16- and 17-year-old students. That includes teachers, substitutes, bus drivers, counselors and coaches. Under state law, teens can legally consent to sex at 16.

The proposal makes sex with an 18-year-old student a misdemeanor that could bring a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

State schools chief Jim Rex has pushed to toughen penalties for teachers who have sex with students. Though incidents are rare among the state's 50,000 teachers, he says any is too many.

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