Senate candidate Alvin Greene indicted on obscenity charges
Alvin Greene, the unemployed veteran who shocked the South Carolina political establishment when he earned the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in June, was indicted Friday by a grand jury on two criminal obscenity counts.
Prosecutors in Richland County allege that last November, in the computer room of a dormitory at the University of South Carolina, Greene asked a female freshman to look at an obscene image on a computer, then suggested they go to her room. The woman’s mother went to campus police, and Greene, who had graduated from the university in 2000, was identified from a photo lineup.
At his bail hearing, Greene, 32, told a judge he was “kidding” when the incident occurred. In a July interview, he said, “The whole incident is just blown out of proportion.”
One charge is a felony — disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity — and carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. The second is a misdemeanor — communicating an obscene message to another person without consent — and carries a maximum sentence of three years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Richland County Deputy Solicitor David Ross said there was no fixed timeline for a trial or a plea agreement, and could not say whether the case would be resolved by election day, Nov. 2, when Greene faces Sen. Jim DeMint, the heavily favored Republican incumbent.
South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler urged Greene to withdraw from the race.
“In June, I asked Mr. Greene to withdraw his candidacy because of the charges against him,” Fowler said in an e-mailed statement. “Following today’s indictments, I repeat that request. It will be impossible for Mr. Greene to address his legal issues and run a statewide campaign.”
In a telephone interview Friday afternoon, Greene said he had no comment on the indictment and planned to say in the race.
“I am not withdrawing,” Greene said. “That’s the bottom line.”