The Scarlet Letter: New York Woman Charged With Adultery

New York prosecutors have charged a woman with criminal adultery after she was arrested allegedly during a tryst with a man in a public park. Suzanne Corona, 41, is the 13th person charged with adultery in New York since 1972. I have previously written about the unconstitutionality of these laws.

Corona from Batavia, N.Y. allegedly was found on a picnic table near a playground having sex with Justin Amend, 29, at 5 pm. While it is not unknown to have couples going to parks for trysts, such an act at 5 pm near a playground would be pretty shocking. Police say that there were parents and children nearby.

They were charged with public lewdness — a reasonable charge under the circumstances. However, prosecutors tacked on an adultery charge for Corona when they discovered she was married.

When confronted, the couple insisted that they were “just talking.”

Genesee County District Attorney Larry Friedman is pressing the charge despite the fact that it is facially unconstitutional. I have previously written how these morality laws should be removed from the books, particularly after the decision in Lawrence v. Texas. Notably, Corona told officers that her husband was “transgender” and that they no longer had intimate relations. She should challenge the law and I expect that she would prevail. It is shows a distinct lack of prosecutorial judgment to bring such a charge in 2010.

As noted in my prior columns (here and here and here), she is not alone in facing such a charge.

For the full story, click here and here.

35 thoughts on “The Scarlet Letter: New York Woman Charged With Adultery

  1. Here in Michigan, if an unmarried man has sex with a married woman, he’s guilty of adultery as well. On the other hand, the spouse has to file a complaint before prosecution can begin (MCL 750.29-750.32).

    While we’re at it, Michigan has laws against blasphemy (MCL 750.102-750.103), “lewd and lascivious cohabitation” (shacking up, I guess — MCL 750.335), swearing in front of women or children (MCL 750.337 — there’s at least on prosecution on this one I’m aware of, and the Michigan Supreme Court upheld the law), and gross indecency (MCL 750.338-750.338b). Oh, and despite Lawrence, Michigan’s sodomy law remains on the books (MCL 750.158). Having read the law, it seems to me (although I stand to be corrected by an attorney as necessary) the law is unconstitutionally vague. I’ve read statutes (Missouri’s for one) that went into great detail about the prohibited conduct. Michigan, not so much. It just prohibits “the abominable and detestable crime against nature.” Would someone please explain to me what conduct is being described here?

  2. Blouise and Buckeye,
    The nuns did have the patent leather shoe rule. The play that came out called ” Do Patent Leather Shoes really reflect up?” was a parody on that rule. We were also not allowed to have boy-girl parties through 8th grade. To say they were a little crazy on the sex issue is an understatement.

  3. Don K

    It is illegal to loiter in the city morgue in Detroit.

    One wonders what sort of behavior prompted that law.

  4. Anonymously Yours,

    Considering that my father-in-law was a good ol’ Baptist boy from Texas who converted to Catholicism in order to marry my mother-in-law, one can imagine a certain creativity was employed.

    (You know, I set you up beautifully with the one liner “In New York it is only illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs.” I was rather disappointed that you didn’t take it.)

  5. rafflaw,

    Here’s a law from South Dakota that must have been written by a nun.

    In hotels in Sioux Falls, every room is required to have twin beds. And the beds must always be a minimum of two feet apart when a couple rents a room for only one night. And it’s illegal to make love on the floor between the beds!

  6. So this woman’s actual husband is or has gone transgender, and therefore she was so twitchy she had to do it with her guypal on a picnic table in broad daylight? Gives a whole new meaning to “desperate housewives.”

  7. Shouldn’t Giuliani be arrested for adultry. Even if he wasn’t caught in the act, he has obviously confessed to it in a number of ways.

  8. In hotels in Sioux Falls, every room is required to have twin beds. And the beds must always be a minimum of two feet apart when a couple rents a room for only one night. And it’s illegal to make love on the floor between the beds

    so the nightstand between the beds, the dresser the tv is on, the bathroom sink, and the shower are all ok?

    ya had me worried for a minute there.

    can’t we just bring back stoning?

  9. As someone said before, indecent exposure should be the charge, if any. If there weren’t any kids around at the time, I wouldn’t even bother with that if I were the prosecutor. The issue of her transgendered husband isn’t really relevant.

  10. “When confronted, the couple insisted that they were “just talking.”

    I think they meant to say it was just the tequila talking:

  11. The UCMJ still criminalizes adultery. While I am loathe to accept the encroachment of government into the bedroom of private citizens, the military is one place where I think this kind of law is unfortunately necessary.

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