According to a new report based on Federal Election Commission filings submitted on Tuesday, a Virginia state senator who was sentenced to prison for aiding a minor’s delinquency and later wed his 17-year-old victim is now apparently running in a special election to succeed a congressman who passed away late last year.
In a state where Democrats have fought the perception that they are soft on the sexualization of children following controversies, state senator Joe Morrissey’s entry into the race to succeed Rep. Don McEachin is concerning.
The twice-disbarred attorney Morrissey was charged with a number of offenses in 2014 as a consequence of his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old staff member.
Morrissey was in his forties at the time of the sexual relationship he engaged in with the girl.
He was accused of four crimes: distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and supervisory indecent liberties with a minor.
Although the girl claimed to be 22 on her employment application and was employed part-time at his legal firm, prosecutors working on the case believed Morrissey was aware that she was younger during their sexual encounters.
Morrissey accepted a plea agreement that led to his conviction for one misdemeanor count of aiding a minor’s delinquency and six months in jail.
After the girl became pregnant, she subsequently wed Morrissey.
If Morrissey wins the election, it would be his first special election triumph.
After being found guilty, Morrissey resigned from his position as a state delegate, which then brought about a special election to fill his own vacant seat.
Morrissey then ran for office as an independent, won, and continued to serve his sentence on work release while participating in the General Assembly.