U.S. Senate candidate indicted on obscenity counts

LOS ANGELES — 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 today by a Richland County grand jury on two criminal obscenity counts.

Prosecutors 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 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 is no fixed timeline for either a trial or a plea agreement, and could not say whether the case would be resolved by Election Day, Nov. 2, when Greene faces the heavily favored Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint.

A spokeswoman for the South Carolina Democratic Party said party officials were consulting their attorneys and planned to release a statement later today.

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