Old SC law makes gov's affair a crime

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

June 30, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's admitted extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina could cost him his job. It could cost him his marriage.

And, under an antiquated state law, it could also cost him up to $500 and a year in jail.

A state law that dates to at least 1880 says adultery is a crime, no matter where it occurred, and that adulterers "shall be severally punished."

But constitutional attorney John Harrell of Charleston says the law hasn't been used in decades, possibly not since 1907.

A spokeswoman for the State Law Enforcement Division says the agency can't waste limited money on trying to prosecute or arrest Sanford on such a charge. Jennifer Timmons notes there are murderers and other violent offenders to pursue.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by A Good Man Location: Everywhere on Jul 10, 2009 at 12:42 AM
    Anon-Martinez,We Men feel the same way too.Make our Wives and their Men pay us, that go out and have affairs!! It's time we get the same treatment as the Women.Also,pay us Child Support when we have the kids for the Summer!! We pay with no problem,when you have them the other 9 mons!!Can we get some Justice??It's not always the Man, cheating in a relationship!!
  • by JOMO Location: usa on Jun 30, 2009 at 09:03 AM
    Anybody but a fool would know this is nothing but a whitewash intended to deviate public attention from the fact that Sanford was caught using TAXPAYER MONEY to pay for his moral turpitude and did not offer to repay for a whole year until he was caught. Did he ever intend to repay the money or is this type of action a perk of SC governorship?
  • by Glarm Location: North Augusta on Jun 30, 2009 at 06:09 AM
    Our blue laws are antiquated, too. Never stopped Sanford from doing everything in his power to make sure they kept being enforced.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 30, 2009 at 05:53 AM
    well, well, well, i do not see this law going to be in effect at all. and do not really see why it was brung up. if it were truely effective and will be used against sanford, then a whole bunch of people - a lot of people- would be in jail.
  • by Anonymous Location: Martinez on Jun 30, 2009 at 05:13 AM
    I bet if the spouse pressed charges they would....have no choice. There is also a similiar law in the state of GA, time us women stand up for ourselves and start pressing charges to make these men and the other women pay, cause they are also charged with it.
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