Va. Employs Little-Used Scarlet Letter Law Against Prominent Attorney


John Raymond Bushey Jr., a prominent attorney in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, has became the first person in as long as anyone can remember to be convicted of adultery.

He has resigned his position as attorney for the town of Luray, Va., a job he’d held for 32 years.

According to the Washington Post, divorce lawyers and private investigators who deal with alleged infidelity are pondering the impact of the case.

Bushey, 65, was married for 18 years to the town clerk and was the very model of a courtly Southern lawyer, the Post says.

Because the charges were filed in Virginia’s lowest court, there are no records that reveal exactly what Bushey did, with whom he did it or why prosecutors would pluck such a rarely used statute from Virginia’s criminal code and apply it to him. Bushey declined to be interviewed about the case. And the prosecutor wouldn’t give many details of Bushey’s Oct. 23 guilty plea, the result of a plea agreement.

The complainant was the woman involved with Bushey. She has not been charged. Like other Class 4 misdemeanors in Virginia, adultery carries a maximum penalty of a $250 fine.


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