Virginia Lawmaker Who Won Re-Election From Jail Charged With Four Felonies

Virginia Democrat Joe Morrissey, who is already caught up in a sex scandal, has been indicted on new felonies related to perjury and forgery.

Earlier this month, Morrissey — who spends his evenings in jail — won re-election in a special election as an independent after previously resigning his seat in the state House of Delegates following a conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Morrissey won the three-way special election with about 42 percent of the vote.

Two years ago this month, Morrissey made news by bringing an AK-47 onto the floor of the House of Delegates chamber in support of what turned out to be a failed gun control bill.

Morrissey, 57, allegedly had an improper relationship with a 17-year old receptionist in his Richmond-area law office, and entered into a misdemeanor plea bargain under the Alford doctrine that allows for work release and also avoided a trial on rape charges.

“In June, Morrissey was charged with multiple felonies for allegedly having sex with the young woman and sharing nude photos of her. Morrissey and the woman, now pregnant with a child prosecutors say is ‘perhaps’ his, have denied any wrongdoing and blamed the woman’s ex-girlfriend for hacking their phones to frame them,” AP reported.

A bachelor, Morrissey reportedly has three kids with three different women.

A Henrico County, Virginia, grand jury indicted Morrissey on new charges in connection with a child-support document that was introduced in the December sentencing hearing. There, Morrissey claimed that he was merely counseling the young woman on how to obtain back child support from her father, citing the document as evidence.

“Morrissey’s defense team submitted the agreement in an effort to undermine the original allegations against him. His attorneys argued that he was offering legal advice to the girl — not having sex with her. [Special Prosecutor William] Neely said the agreement is a fabricated court order. Still under investigation is who forged the document,” The Washington Post explained.

According to a statement released by Neely, the lawmaker faces charges of felony uttering a forged public record, felony conspiracy to utter forged record, felony inducing perjury, and perjury, which could result in decades in prison upon conviction.

Perjury is lying under oath about a key fact in a legal case.

The teen’s mother faces three felony charges in the same case.

“Additionally, Morrissey caused [the teen’s] mother… to testify at his plea hearing in which she falsely asserted that the forged order was true and correct, which is alleged to constitute perjury, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.”

These new charges, which were sealed on the date of the January 13 special election but are now public, are apparently outside of the plea deal. Morrissey may also be subject to discipline by the House of Delegates.

Joe Morrissey has denied the new charges. He is due back in court on February 9.

[image credit: Cliff]