Image: Alvin Greene
Mary Ann Chastain  /  AP
South Carolina Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Alvin Greene faces incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint in the November elections.
updated 8/13/2010 8:46:51 PM ET 2010-08-14T00:46:51

Longshot Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene was indicted Friday on two charges, including a felony charge of showing pornography to a teenage student in a South Carolina college computer lab.

Greene surprised the party establishment with his primary victory in June. His arrest in November was first reported by The Associated Press the day after he won the nomination.

Authorities said he approached a student in a University of South Carolina computer lab, showed her obscene photos online, then talked about going to her dorm room.

A Richland County grand jury indicted Greene, 32, for disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity — a felony — as well as a misdemeanor charge of communicating obscene materials to a person without consent.

If convicted, Greene could face up to three years in prison for the misdemeanor or up to five years for the felony.

Greene declined comment at his home in Manning. He has refused to talk about the charge in past interviews, and his attorney did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Greene had visited the computer lab at the Bates House dorm in Columbia several times before his arrest, using an old student ID card to gain admission, according to campus police records. Dorm staffers told police they had asked security staff not to let him in, but reports did not give any more details.

Greene graduated from South Carolina in 2000 with a political science degree.

Greene, an unemployed military veteran, handily defeated Vic Rawl, a former lawmaker and judge who had been considered an easy win by Democrats.

Up to that point, Greene had done no visible campaigning and had no website, fundraising or staff.

After AP reported Greene's arrest, South Carolina Democratic Party leaders called on him to withdraw his candidacy. South Carolina law prohibits convicted felons from serving in state office, but there is no such rule for the U.S. House or Senate.

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Greene has said he's staying in the race. In the months since his victory, Greene has given a series of awkward interviews to reporters clamoring for more information on the man who lives in Manning with his ailing father. In one interview, he suggested that the state's economy could be improved by making and selling action figures depicting him in his uniform.

Earlier this summer, the state Democratic Party upheld his nomination, denying a challenge filed by Rawl alleging voting abnormalities.

State police also cleared Greene of any impropriety involving his $10,440 filing fee. Greene has said he saved up his military pay for two years, a claim police said was backed up by his bank records.

Last month, Greene gave his first public speech, a 6 1/2-minute recitation of his previous comments and commitment to jobs and education. On Thursday, he gave brief remarks to the executive committee of the state Democratic Party and asked them to support his campaign, according to executive director Jay Parmley.

Greene now has a website and says he has raised less than $1,000. He faces Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in the fall. The popular incumbent has raised more than $3 million.

Green Party candidate Tom Clements will also be on the November ballot. He has reported no fundraising.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: S.C. election victory raises concerns

  1. Transcript of: S.C. election victory raises concerns

    NATALIE MORALES, anchor: In South Carolina , a man no one seems to have heard of is now the newly minted Democratic nominee for US Senate . NBC 's Kelly O'Donnell is in Columbia with the details. Kelly , good morning.

    KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Good morning, Natalie . Democrats from here in South Carolina to the White House are saying something's wrong. How did a guy with no campaign and a criminal charge win big? They're asking was it a fluke or a political mischief?

    Offscreen Voice: Tell us about your candidacy.

    O'DONNELL: South Carolina 's mystery man Alvin Greene .

    Mr. ALVIN GREENE: I worked hard, you know, I got my message to my supporters.

    O'DONNELL: Until his improbably victory, no one knew Greene even had supporters.

    Mr. GREENE: Oh, I just traveled all across the state.

    O'DONNELL: The truth is, almost no one here knew who Greene was until now. The Democratic Senate nominee is a 32-year-old veteran who says he was forced out of the Army but with an honorable discharge. Unemployed, Greene says he used his own money to pay the $10,400 fee to get on the ballot.

    Mr. GREENE: Well, I did just simple, old-fashioned campaigning.

    O'DONNELL: Well, Greene did keep things simple. No campaign Web site , no campaign donations, no campaign events. And with that low-key strategy he got more than 100,000 votes, easily beating former Judge Vic Rawl , who's long been around politics and was expected to win. South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn says Greene must have been a plant put up to running. And there's more. Greene faces a felony obscenity charge that he won't talk about.

    Mr. GREENE: I have no comment.

    O'DONNELL: College student Camille McCoy reported Greene to police last fall, claiming he approached her at school with pornographic pictures, asking to go to her room.

    Ms. CAMILLE McCOY: I felt it was my duty to let the rest of South Carolina know this is who's running and y'all should be on the lookout.

    O'DONNELL: The Democratic state party chair wants Greene to quit the race. And all that gets you talked about on " Meet the Press ."

    Mr. DAVID AXELROD (Senior White House Advisor): The whole thing is odd. And I -- you know, and I don't really know how to explain it and I don't think anybody else does, either.

    O'DONNELL: And the opponent that Greene beat wants an investigation, things like look at the voting machines to see if there were irregularities. Now, Greene says he is in the race to stay and will face Democrat -- I'm sorry, will face Republican Senator Jim DeMint in the fall. And his aides say that DeMint had nothing to do with it either. It's really a mystery, Natalie .


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