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Another question about Alvin Greene

I agree with Jonathan that Wil Haygood wrote a terrific piece this morning about Alvin Greene. As Haygood noted, Greene's nomination to the U.S. Senate remains surrounded by unanswered questions: Where did the money for his filing fee come from? What motivated him to run? And so on.

I have one other, that has nothing to do with his politics. As Haygood wrote, one of the reasons the Democratic Party is embarrassed by Greene's nomination is that he is facing possible prison time. According to the Associated Press, he's been charged with "disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity." Why? Here's how the AP explained:

Camille McCoy, a 19-year-old rising sophomore at the University of South Carolina, said she called campus police after Greene sat down next to her in a computer lab and asked her to look at his screen, which showed a pornographic website.

"I said, 'That's offensive,' and he sat there laughing," said McCoy, who was 18 at the time. "It was very disgusting. He said, 'Let's go to your room now.' It was kind of scary. He's a pretty big boy. He could've overpowered me."

It sounds offensive, alright. I don't blame McCoy for calling the campus police. Any threat of violence against women should be treated seriously, more seriously than it frequently is. But if what Greene did was show pornography and tender an unwanted invitation, should that be a crime -- a felony, in fact, for which Greene could spend five years in prison?

By Fred Hiatt  | June 17, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Hiatt  | Tags:  Fred Hiatt  
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Next: Green light for Alvin Greene's senate run


Replying to:
"It sounds offensive, alright. I don't blame McCoy for calling the campus police. Any threat of violence against women should be treated seriously, more seriously than it frequently is. But if what Greene did was show pornography and tender an unwanted invitation, should that be a crime -- a felony, in fact, for which Greene could spend five years in prison?"

OK, now I'm confused, Mr. Hiatt. Is your point that because Greene didn't physically overpower McCoy, he didn't commit a felony? And if so, what punishment do you consider sufficient for an offense you yourself describe as serious?

Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 17, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Ought to be a misdemeanor. All the other person need do is say "No." and leave.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 17, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

A Felony!!!
Showing a porno web site(easily accessibe on any computer and a crude invite for permission to go to the complaint's room(which was turned down and NO other action taken in a CLASS ROOM!!
No wonder this complaint went no where, and it shouldn't.

Posted by: hairman | June 17, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

If the election in the primary was so unexpected, the same could happen in the general election. Of course there were flaws if Green got more votes than voters in 25 precincts. He could win the general election and no I don't think what he did regarding McCoy was ok. He had already been told to stay away from there. He caused her a lot of grief, disruption in her studies, and expense in her having to move to a different part of campus.

Posted by: thirdpartyvote | June 17, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Soliciitation for a suggestive meeting and showing an adult a porn site are not crimes, but may be indicative of problems ahead. If Greene isnt on probation or parole for anything, then not much you can do. Greene's behavior was rude and not PC but not illegal, and can be used to lay a foundation for annoying or stalking if he persists.
Certainly not behavior one wants in a future senator, to be sure.

Posted by: RetiredCop | June 18, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

I think what he did was creepy but it shouldn't be a crime at all. She was an adult, and he never threatened her; all she had to do was leave, or have the campus police ask him to leave for breaking the campus behavior codes. Otherwise, no harm, no foul. As a woman and a feminist, I don't think much of porn, but it shouldn't be illegal for adults and as long as he didn't touch her or show child porn, he's just a jerk, not a criminal.

Posted by: 1toughlady | June 18, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to hacked voting machines, Southern Republicans will steal another election. The racist good ol' boys in the South and their buddies in the oil industry are obsessed with ruining our system of government to fatten their wallets and keep people of color in their place. Then everytime one of their predictable screwups occurs the whole country is on the hook to bail them out. Seeing that loudmouth bigot Haley Barbour first deny the oil spill existed then start making nice with Obama to get his greasy, corrupt hands on federal funds is appalling. They can't get over losing the Civil War but they won't even think of seceding because they're dependent on LA, DC, and NY to keep their corrupt little fiefdoms from falling in the ocean.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | June 18, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The "word" is all right. Already is one word, all right is two. Greene is obviously not the sort of thinker we need in the US Senate, but can't we please discuss it grammatically!

Posted by: Enlishisimportant | June 18, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

What he did was creepy and she called the police if she was frightened she should have also left - which is what most people do when they feel threatened. She was also on Fox. If as she says "... He's a pretty big boy. He could've overpowered me." Call the police and leave!

If being creepy and making suggestive remarks is a crime police would be really really busy.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 18, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

What if this non-politician gets elected? South Carolina will only have one Senator. He (Greene) will be vulnerable to any corruption that drifts past him. I think maybe we need a constitutional ammendment that adds an IQ test to the age requirement for being a Senator. Clearly it was shenanigans that got him this far.

Posted by: tughillb | June 18, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

This all stinks like the fetid ooze at the bottom of a septic tank. As they say, you couldn't make this up. It will be interesting to see how it all went down, and it is really hard to imagine there wasn't some felonious behavior behind it all.

Posted by: bawrytr | June 18, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Alvin Green for President in 2012!

"Anyone better than Barack"

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | June 18, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Tupac_Goldstein is a Zionist who posts for endless war for Israel.

On many threads, ENDLESS WAR FOR ISRAEL!

Thus sayeth Tupac_Goldstein.

Be advised.

Posted by: tarquinis1 | June 18, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Thirdpartyvote says: "Of course there were flaws if Green got more votes than voters in 25 precincts."

Where did you come up with this nonsense? You need to investigate before you post. The Rawl campaign had claimed that Spartanburg County had that problem. Later that same day, after the misinformation had gotten into many blogs and news accounts, the Rawl campaign admitted that they were wrong. However, once an erroneous story gets out, it can't be fully corrected. If the story were true, the democrat committee last night would not have said there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Posted by: groovercg | June 18, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

What a stupid question. So he should get a slap on the wrist? Laws are passed for various reasons, and some penalties might be arbitrary, but the idea that this is treated in such an offhanded manner bewilders me.

Posted by: Puller58 | June 19, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Huh? You talking to me?

Posted by: groovercg | June 19, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

yep been lots of young women overpowered in america's libraries. probably because you're supposed to be quiet there and the victims didn't want to interupt the concentration of other people.
perhaps getting lucky is harder than winning the south carolina primary.

Posted by: wrwp123 | June 19, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

He had broken into the dorm which was Key Card entry only AND he had been told by police to stay away. YES, he demanded to go to her room AND had broken in. If it is a felony under the law, stop making excuses for Greene. This Greene, thug just like Obama, is likely an Obama plant. New ACORN-like organization is behind it, I bet.

Posted by: thirdpartyvote | June 23, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

She DID leave. She is the victim. To those of you saying why didn't she leave, she DID! And she called the police. I have news for you. I worked in a college where they made it very clear to everyone in employee relations on the first day that showing porn on state owned computers in that state, even using their wireless services, WAS a crime. Quit defending this predator Greene. And for those of you saying you are feminists, well, that attitude of this behavior of Greene being A ok is what is wrong with you AND the entire Obama mess!

Posted by: thirdpartyvote | June 23, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

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