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SC county judges toss same-sex domestic violence cases

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YORK, S.C. (AP) -- Prosecutors in a South Carolina county say they may bypass magistrates who dismiss domestic violence charges involving same-sex couples.

The Herald reports that at least six domestic violence cases involving same-sex defendants living together have been dismissed recently by York County magistrates for lack of probable cause, citing a South Carolina law that defines a couple in such cases as a "man and a woman."

The state Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional in 2017, in a ruling upheld by the attorney general.

But in a hearing on Tuesday, public defender Jeff Zuschke argued that the Supreme Court ruling applies only to Family Court protection orders, not criminal cases.

Prosecutor Jenny Desch says they may avoid magistrates in these cases and seek grand jury indictments instead.

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