BATAVIA, N.Y.—Buffalo-area resident Suzanne Corona, 41, was having a terrific time in Farrell Park with 29-year-old boyfriend Justin Amend at around dinnertime on June 4: They were fucking on one of the park's picnic tables with the sun low in the sky.
And while it's hardly unheard-of for couples to get it on in public, those who do are usually a little more discreet about it. But Amend had his shirt off and, according to reports, his zipper was down and his cock at least partly exposed ... so sure enough, Corona and Amend were busted for public lewdness by the local police.
But what the pair didn't count on was Corona also being charged with "adultery," a Class B misdemeanor that carries the possibility of a $500 fine or 90 days in the Gray-bar Hotel.
Section 255.17 of the New York State Penal Code, enacted in 1907, states that "a person is guilty of adultery when he [or, presumably, she] engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time he has a living spouse or the other person has a living spouse."
Perhaps even more amazing than the fact that this outdated "crime" is still on the books is that since 1972, 13 people have been busted for it in the state ... and five have even been convicted! [Adult producers and webmasters beware!]
"One of the reasons you don't see this charge more often is that the law in New York State requires that there must be corroboration," Genesee County District Attorney Larry Friedman told the New York Daily News—and what better corroboration could there be than a videotape of the "crime"?
But according to Corona, she had a good excuse for her actions: She told the cops that her husband is "transgender," and that the two "never had sex."
"I know what I did was inappropriate and I apologize, but you'd understand if you knew what my life was like," Corona told police.
In an article in USA Today last April, attorney and legal commentator Jonathan Turley called the existence of adultery laws "some of the last remnants of our Puritanical past, where infidelity was treated as not only a marital but also as a criminal matter. While the laws have been challenged as unconstitutional, many people are resistant to the idea of removing such 'morality crimes' from our books."
According to Turley, about two dozen states still have adultery laws on the books, including New Hampshire, Minnesota, Illinois, Virginia and North Dakota. Convicted adulterers are liable to get a life sentence for their "crime" in Michigan, while if committed in Maryland, the exposure is merely a $10 fine. However, in Wisconsin, it's considered a Class I felony. Moreover, Turley believes that after the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas, "It should be obvious that such laws governing private, consensual acts are no longer valid. ... While the Court did not address anti-fornication or adultery statutes, the dissenting justices specifically noted that the decision placed such laws in jeopardy."
"While the Puritans had many redeemable qualities, their use of colonial laws to execute or beat or brand people for immorality was a savage tradition," Turley opined. "This country has matured to the point that we can put away criminalized moral codes and leave such matters to individual citizens, their families and their respective faiths. It is time to allow couples to police their own marriages."