A Batavia, NY woman has become the 13th person ever arrested in the state for adultery, after a police officer spotted her allegedly having sex in a public park.
According to ABC's Eamon McNiff, Officer Matthew Baldwin says he saw Suzanne Corona, 41, and her illicit lover Justin Amend, 29, having sex in the park during the day where children could see. Corona was charged with public lewdness and adultery (Baldwin had apparently met her husband before), while Amend was charged only with lewdness, apparently because he didn't know Corona was married. Police reports say Corona denied, then admitted that they were actually having sex, but in a press conference today Corona says she performed "a sexual act with kissing" that was "nothing that anyone could see." Corona added, "We were not naked on a picnic table...His genitals were exposed perhaps by the zipper, but that's it. But no one would see that."
It's pretty clear that a public park isn't an ideal place to bone, and the public lewdness charge doesn't seem out of line. But adultery? Corona says her fidelity is "a private matter between her and her husband," and lawyer Raoul Felder adds that criminalizing adultery (which few states still do) "leads people to commit perjury in divorce cases. It should not be on the books." Even Corona's husband appears to think this charge is unjust, flipping the traditional wronged-wife script as he stands by his spouse at her press conference. The case may just be the result of an overzealous officer or a DA hoping for two charges instead of one, but Corona's age and gender might also have come into play. Gothamist's headline for the story reads, "Allegedly Publicly Fornicating MILF Charged With Adultery," while ABC's subhead declares, "Batavia, N.Y., Police Say They Caught Married Woman in Act With Younger Paramour." Had the genders been reversed, would Amend's age even have been an issue? Maybe the sight of a woman having sex in public with a younger man was more shocking than a more stereotypical instance of adultery: a man cheating on his wife with a hot young thing. Whatever the case, Corona's in luck — New York hasn't actually convicted anyone of adultery in 50 years.