Panel rejects bill to decriminalize adultery in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A legislative panel has rejected a bill to decriminalize adultery in Virginia, one of about a dozen states where infidelity is a crime.

Virginia law classifies marital infidelity as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250. Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax County proposed keeping the $250 penalty but making adultery a civil offense.

Surovell said that in the last decade, there have been just eight successful prosecutions for adultery in Virginia. He said only about a dozen states treat it as a crime.

Media outlets report that the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed the measure on a voice vote Monday.

Republican Sen. Ryan McDougle of Hanover County said that while there may not be many convictions, the charge can be a useful tool in prosecuting other offenses.


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