Delegate Joe Morrissey entered an Alford plea Friday in underage sex case against him, meaning he admits there are sufficient facts to convict him but he denies his guilt.
He’s been sentenced to 12 months in the Richmond City Jail, with six months suspended, and he’s been granted work release so he can serve in the General Assembly in the coming session.
Morrissey had faced upwards of 40 years if he had been convicted of the felony charges against him. He ended up pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police said Morrissey engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old receptionist in his law office. In his defense, Morrissey said he thought the woman was 22 and said he never engaged in a relationship with her. He said the evidence against him was planted on his phone by a jealous hacker.
This will be the second time Morrissey has served time in jail while he held public office. He was the city’s commonwealth’s attorney at the time and did a five-day stint in 1992 after a court house fight with an opposing lawyer.