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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-3-645 SO AS TO ENACT "ELLEN'S LAW" TO REQUIRE A COURT TO MAKE WRITTEN FINDINGS OF FACT CONCERNING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF A PERSON'S PRIOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT CONVICTIONS BEFORE RELEASING THE PERSON ON BOND OR SUSPENDING THE IMPOSITION OR EXECUTION OF A SENTENCE FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT; AND TO REQUIRE A PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF A PERSON WHO HAS SUCH A PRIOR RECORD BEFORE SUCH RELEASE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as "Ellen's Law".
SECTION 2. Article 7, Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-3-645. (A) In addition to the provisions of Section 17-15-30, before releasing a person on bond who has been arrested for criminal sexual conduct, as provided for in this article, or before suspending the imposition or execution of a sentence imposed for criminal sexual conduct, the court shall make written findings of fact concerning, but not limited to, the following:
(1) whether the person committed the criminal sexual conduct while on parole or probation or out on bond for criminal sexual conduct or an offense provided for in Article 8 or 17;
(2) the nature and circumstances of the criminal sexual conduct committed by the person;
(3) the nature and extent of any physical harm or injury that the person inflicted upon the victim during commission of the criminal sexual conduct;
(4) the nature and extent of prior criminal sexual conduct offenses, if any committed by the person and whether the person was convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to criminal sexual conduct for such criminal sexual conduct;
(B)(1) In addition to the requirements of subsection (A), if the person has been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to criminal sexual conduct, or an offense provided for in Article 8 or 17, the court shall require a psychological evaluation to be conducted on the defendant. The person conducting the evaluation shall submit a written report to the court, and the court shall consider the report and make written findings of fact before releasing the person on bond or before suspending the imposition or execution of a sentence imposed for criminal sexual conduct.
(2) The court shall appoint a person, from a list of persons approved by court administration, to conduct the evaluation and the cost must be borne by the defendant unless the court makes a specific finding of indigency, in which case the public defenders office for that county shall bear the expense."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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