Virginia Elects Democrat Previously Jailed for Sex with a Minor
Joe Morrissey, once arrested for distributing child porn, now elected to the state Senate
Virginia has just elected a Democrat to the state Senate, despite being a convicted sex offender who was previously jailed for sex with a minor.
Many have been left scratching their heads, wondering how bad the Virginia GOP must be, after Democratic lawmaker Joe Morrissey won his election Tuesday, despite his disturbing criminal history.
And the public scandal surrounding Morrissey, a former lawyer who was disbarred twice, wasn't exactly swept under the rug.
Morrissey was originally arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography, along with allegedly raping his teenage assistant.
The charges were later bumped down and Morrissey was jailed for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”
At the time the scandal broke in 2015, Joe Morrissey was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
According to the Daily Wire, Morrissey, now 61, was in his 50s when he was accused of having sex with his 17-year-old secretary, to whom he is now married.
He claimed he did nothing wrong, but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2015 while admitting there was enough evidence to convict him. (This often happens to innocent and guilty defendants alike, they plead to a lesser crime to avoid worse consequences in front of a jury for a larger crime.)
The girl and her mother also denied anything untoward was happening between the two, though he was initially indicted on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography (he had, according to prosecutors, a nude photograph of the young girl and had sent it to a friend) and the electronic solicitation of a minor.
Morrissey spent six months in jail after taking the plea deal and continued to serve as a state legislator while in prison.
Morrissey had resigned as a legislator but won it back in a special election.
Republican #DanielCameron has won the race to become Kentucky's new attorney general, making him the first #GOP AG in over 70 years, and the first-ever African-American to ever be elected to the position.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 6, 2019
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He sailed to victory in a primary for state Senate earlier this year, defeating incumbent state Sen. Rosalyn Dance by 14 points.
Now Morrissey has won that state Senate seat.
Morrissey received nearly 64% of the vote, facing Independent Waylin Ross, who received 36% of the vote.
Republicans didn’t even offer a candidate in the race.
Morrissey ran a failed bid for Richmond mayor in 2016.
In 2018, his law license was revoked.
He has actually been disbarred twice, but he appealed the second disbarment. Morrissey’s law license was suspended in 1993 and in 1999.
In 2001, he was disbarred due to frequent “episodes of unethical, contumacious, or otherwise inappropriate conduct,” according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The court ruled in that cast that Morrissey had a “15-year history of contempt citations, reprimands, fines, suspensions, and even incarcerations arising from unprofessional conduct mostly involving an uncontrollable temper, inappropriate responses to stress and dishonesty.”
Morrissey was reinstated to the bar in December 2011 but was revoked a second time in June 2018.
Morrissey appealed and lost in July 2019.
None of this has hurt his political career, judging from his recent win.
WJLA reported that Morrissey will represent residents in “parts of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Petersburg, Hopewell, Prince George County, and Dinwiddie County.”
Virginia Republicans were trounced Tuesday night, losing control of the state legislature for the first time in decades.
In many races across the state, Republicans didn’t even put up a candidate.
That’s despite a state Democratic party grabbling with racism and sexual assault scandals.
Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook photo was revealed earlier this year, showing him either in blackface or wearing a KKK robe at a costume party.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has been accused by two women of sexual assault, though there’s no evidence outside of their statements to condemn him.
Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to wearing blackface while in college.