Revealed: The Controversial Virginia Democrat Lawmaker Who Served Time for underage-Teen Sex Scandal
Joe Morrissey won the senate seat for Virginia’s 16th District in 2019 despite being jailed for sex with an underage girl.
He was also found with child pornographic images at the time of his investigation.
In 2013, with Morrissey being a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he hired 17-year-old Myrna Pride to work as an intern in his law office.
They began a sexual relationship despite the girl being underage and he being 56 years old at the time.
Morrissey was found out and denied the claims even though texts of them he and the girl talking in a sexual manner were discovered by investigators.
Some of the messages depict Morrissey bragging in all-caps to a government friend of his that he had sex with Ms Pride on a conference room table, “AND THEN ON THE FLOOR FOR GOOD MEASURE!”
Morrissey also got Ms Pride pregnant and gave her 70 dollars for the morning after pill, evidenced in the texts which were sent to a friend of hers and shown in court.
Pride, however, went on to keep the baby of which Morrissey is the father.
Morrissey was charged with statutory rape, which the law in the state of Virginia says is violated “when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 18.”
Morrissey was allowed to plead guilty to the delinquency of a minor in 2014, with additional charges of indecent liberties with a minor, possession and distribution of child pornography and electric solicitation of a minor.
He served three months in jail in Virginia and Ms Pride is now his wife.
They now have three children, though Morrissey has six children total from four different women.
Morrissey has a long history of crime and irregularity dating back as far as the early 1980s whilst serving as a high school teacher and then whilst he practiced law in Virginia.
Between 1983 and 1987 he was charged three times with assault with colleagues of his saying they felt ‘scared of him’.
He also had his practicing law licence revoked twice once in 1993 and once again 1999, and was removed from court cases by judges on multiple occasions due to conflicts of interest and for not following the appropriate rules.
On December 21, 2001, Morrissey was disbarred in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and on April 25, 2003, his license to practice law was revoked by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.
Morrissey appealed the federal disbarment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, butthe disbarment was upheld in a September 2002 opinion which concluded “Frequent episodes of unethical, contumacious, or otherwise inappropriate conduct mar Joseph D. Morrissey’s career as prosecutor and private defense attorney.”
The appellate court said, “Evidence … demonstrates Morrissey’s 15-year history of contempt citations, reprimands, fines, suspensions, and even incarcerations arising from unprofessional conduct mostly involving an uncontrollable temper, inappropriate responses to stress, and dishonesty.”
On December 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved his petition for reinstatement to the bar.
However, that decision did not bind the federal courts, and after his affair with the underage girl for which he served three months in prison, he was disbarred again.
Morrissey resigned his seat in December 2014 but then ran in the special election to fill his own vacancy.
He won that election in January 2015 while in jail, reclaiming his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
In 2019, he again ran for a seat in the Virginia Senate, and won in the primary earning 57% of the vote. He defeated independent candidate Waylin Ross in the general election held in November 2019 and was elected to a seat on the Senate of Virginia, representing the 16th district.
Morrissey still holds hisposition in the senate despite numerous offences, including having his law licence revoked yet again in 2018 for having a sexual affair with Ms Pride and after the panel found that Morrissey had also violated legal ethics rules when he allowed another member of his firm (not yet sworn in as a lawyer) to appear in court on behalf of one of the firm’s clients.
Morrissey was thus found to have violated rules that require a lawyer to ensure that anyone under his or her supervision also follow ethics rules.
The panel also noted that Morrissey had not informed his client that someone else would be present, itself a violation of the Bar’s rules.
Morrissey also came to national attention in 2013 after he pulled an AK47 from out under his desk in the senate saying how easy it was to have a loaded rifle after the Republicans devoted his bill to have gun ownership laws tightened.
Morrissey stated ‘people do not know it is within law to walk down Main Street with a fully loaded assault weapon’.
He continues to serve in the Senate and his been an avid supporter of Democrat Presidential frontrunner Joe Biden.