THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Supreme Court
State of South Carolina, Respondent.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI
Appeal From Orangeburg County
Joseph A. Wilson, Judge
Opinion No. 25013
Submitted September 22, 1999 - Filed November 8, 1999
Senior Assistant Appellate Defender Wanda Haile, of
S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for
Attorney General Charles M. Condon, Deputy
Attorney General John W. McIntosh, and Assistant
Deputy Attorney General Teresa A. Knox, all of
Columbia, for respondent.
SLOCUMB v. SC
MOORE, A.J.: Petitioner pled guilty in general sessions court to
a charge of first degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) committed when he
was thirteen years old. He was sentenced to thirty years' imprisonment. We
granted a writ of certiorari to review the denial of his application for post
conviction relief (PCR) and now reverse.1
On October 27, 1992, petitioner accosted a high school teacher
(Victim) in the school parking lot and forced her into her car at gunpoint. He
directed Victim to drive to a wooded area and forced her out of the car.
When Victim refused to go into the woods with him, petitioner grabbed her,
roughly squeezing her breast, and digitally penetrated her vagina through
her clothing. He then shot her five times in the face and head and drove off
in her car leaving her on the side of the road. Victim was able to walk to a
nearby residence for help and later identified petitioner.
Petitioner was charged as a juvenile with first degree CSC,
kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm on school property, grand
larceny of a vehicle, armed robbery, and assault and battery with intent to
kill. After a hearing, the charges were transferred to general sessions court.
In exchange for petitioner's guilty plea to CSC first degree, the Solicitor
agreed to nol prosse the remaining charges.
Is a CSC charge committed by a juvenile under the
age of fourteen years transferable to general sessions
1 The Court of Appeals recently affirmed petitioner's convictions for
first degree burglary, first degree CSC, robbery, kidnapping, and escape
committed in March 1996 during his escape from custody. State v. Slocumb,
Op. No. 3034 (S.C. Ct. App. filed August 16, 1999). He was sentenced to
three concurrent life sentences, and consecutive fifteen- and five-year
sentences. These convictions are not before us here.
SLOCUMB v. SC
In 1968, the legislature provided for "rape" and "attempted rape"
charges committed by any age juvenile to be transferred from family court to
general sessions court upon petition.2 Subsequently, in 1977, the legislature
enacted S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-659 (1985) which provides:
The common law rule 3 that a boy under fourteen
years, is conclusively presumed to be incapable of
committing the crime of rape shall not be enforced in
this State. Provided, that any person under the age
of 14 shall be tried as a juvenile for any violations of
§§ 16-3-651 to 16-3-659.1. 4
In 1981, four years after the enactment of § 16-3-659, the original provision
allowing the transfer of rape and attempted rape charges was repealed and
2 Section 14- 21-510(D), formerly 1962 Code § 15-1095.9, provided in
Within two days after the filing of a petition in the family court,
alleging the child has committed the offense of murder,
manslaughter, rape, attempted rape, arson, common-law
burglary, bribery or perjury, the person executing such petition
may request in writing that the case be transferred to the court
of general sessions, with a view to proceeding against such child
as a criminal rather than as a child coming within the purview
[of the family court's jurisdiction]. The judge of the family court
is authorized to determine this request.
3 State v. Nelson, 88 S.C. 125, 70 S.E. 445 (1911).
4 First degree CSC is codified at S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-652 (Supp.
5 1981 S.C. Act No. 71, §§ 1 & 3.
6 Section 20-7-430(6), now § 20-7-7605(6) (Supp. 1998), provided in
SLOCUMB v. SC
involving "criminal sexual assault."7
As a later enactment to the original transfer provision, § 16-3
659 limited the transfer of sexual offenses to those committed by juveniles
fourteen years of age and over. See Stone v. State, 313 S.C. 533, 443 S.E.2d
544 (1994) (more recent and specific statute prevails). The question is what
effect the subsequent 1981 reenactment of the transfer provision had on §
When the legislature reenacts the same provision and provides
for its taking effect at the same time as the repeal of the old statute, it is
presumed the legislature intended to continue the provision in force without
interruption. South Carolina Mental Health Commissioner v. May, 226 S.C.
108, 83 S.E.2d 713 (1954). Applying this basic rule of statutory construction,
other courts have held the reenactment of a statutory provision does not
change the effect of an intermediate act that qualified or limited the earlier
enactment. Rather, the intervening statute will be deemed to qualify or
modify the new statute in the same manner that it previously modified the
earlier enactment. See People ex rel. Brenza v. Fleetwood, 413 111. 530, 109
N.E.2d 741 (1952); State ex rel. Palmer v. Circuit Court, 244 Ind. 297, 192
N.E.2d 625 (1963); State ex rel. Village of Buhl v. Borgen, 231 Minn. 317, 43
N.W.2d 95 (1950); State v. Sam, 85 Wash.2d 713, 538 P.2d 1209 (1975).
Within two days after the filing of a petition in the family court
alleging the child has committed the offense of murder or
criminal sexual assault, the person executing such petition may
request in writing that the case be transferred to the court of
general sessions with a view to proceeding against such child as
a criminal rather than as a child coming within the purview of
[the family court's jurisdiction]. The judge of the family court is
authorized to determine this request.
This section was subsequently amended to provide for thirty days instead of
7 We have equated "rape" with the revised statutory term "criminal
sexual conduct." State v. Summers, 276 S.C. 111 274 S.E.2d 427 (1981).
SLOCUMB v. SC
As an intervening statute, § 16-3-659 was unaffected by the later
repeal and simultaneous reenactment of the transfer provision. Absent
further action by the legislature, § 16-3-659 continues to prohibit the
transfer of sexual offenses committed by juveniles under fourteen years of
age. Since petitioner was thirteen at the time he committed this offense, the
CSC charge could not be transferred to general sessions court and general
sessions court was without jurisdiction to accept his plea. 8
Accordingly, the denial of PCR is
FINNEY, C.J., TOAL, WALLER and BURNETT, JJ., concur.
8 See S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-400(A)(1)(d) (1985) (family court has
exclusive jurisdiction of violation of state law by person under eighteen years
except for certain traffic or fish, game, and watercraft violations).