Attorney: Greene was flirting, meant no harm

Senate candidate accused of obscenity charges
Candidate for U.S. Senate Alvin Greene (left) and his attorney Eleazer Carter, leave the Richland County Courthouse in Columbia.

COLUMBIA --- Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene was just trying to flirt with a teenage South Carolina college student when he allegedly showed her pornography in a campus computer lab, his attorney said Thursday in the first indication of his planned defense.

"He was attempting to flirt with a young lady who had no interest in him," Eleazer Carter said. "While the charges are very serious, I think it boils down to, when a lady turns you down, has it reached a criminal offense?"

Carter elaborated on his client's situation shortly after a judge allowed Greene to remain free on a misdemeanor charge of communicating obscene materials to a person without consent. Circuit Court Judge James Barber also ordered the 33-year-old unemployed military veteran not to have any contact with the University of South Carolina student.

In August, a Richland County grand jury also indicted Greene on a felony charge of disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity. Both charges stem from Greene's arrest last November, months before his surprise Democratic primary win.

"I think this additional charge was just a waste of court time," Carter said, adding that Greene had already appeared in court on the more serious felony charge and been allowed to remain free on a $5,000 bond.

Barber decided Thursday that the same bond would be applied to Greene's misdemeanor charge. If convicted, Greene could face up to three years in prison for the misdemeanor or up to five years for the felony.

Greene, who has not entered a plea to either charge, has declined to comment on his court case.

Greene is running against Republican Sen. Jim DeMint in the Nov. 2 election. A day after Greene's primary win, The Associated Press was first to report that Greene was arrested for allegedly approaching a student in a campus computer lab and showing her obscene photos online. Authorities say he also talked about going to her dorm room.

Campus police allege that Greene, a 2000 political science graduate of the university, used an old student ID card to get past dorm security.

Carter said that while Greene perhaps didn't pick the best method for approaching the female student, he did not intend to threaten her in any way.

Greene's next scheduled court appearance is Nov. 16, two weeks after the general election.

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