Wait’ll you read about this guy, the best Virginia can do.
Conviction for delinquency of a minor
In August 2013, Morrissey was found by police to be in his home in Henrico County with a 17-year-old girl, who was an employee of his law office. Morrissey, the girl, and her mother, denied any impropriety, but subsequently, a Henrico County court convened a grand jury to investigate a possible improper sexual relationship between Morrissey and the girl. On June 30, 2014, Morrissey was indicted on felony charges of indecent liberties with a minor, possession and distribution of child pornography, and electronic solicitation of a minor, in addition to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, for which conviction he served three months of a 12-month sentence. After being convicted, Morrissey resigned as a delegate at the Virginia House.
According to statements from the prosecutor in court documents, Morrissey had sex with the girl multiple times in his law office in August 2013, and possessed a nude photograph of the girl, which he also sent to a friend. Morrissey allegedly continued the relationship with the girl after she left his law office in August 2013, and the two allegedly shared a hotel room overnight in October 2013.
Morrissey denied the charges, saying the girl came to him for advice about family problems and was being abused by her father, and that the special prosecutor was out to get him because of a personal vendetta. Morrissey said he rejected a plea bargain for a single misdemeanor in December 2013. He vowed to fight the charges in court, declaring that he would be vindicated, and rejected calls to resign his House seat.
Morrissey’s case made national headlines in July 2014 when he used an obscenity on live television while reading a text message he claimed was planted on his phone by hackers. He entered into a plea agreement in which he made an Alford plea to one misdemeanor charge and received an active jail sentence. News reports indicated that Morrissey would be eligible to attend sessions of the legislature on work release.
Morrissey initially denied paternity of his son, who was born in March 2015, to his then law office intern, Myrna Pride, who was 17 at the time of the internship. On May 20, 2015, he confirmed paternity of the boy.
Although Morrissey admitted having sexual relationships with Pride, then 17 years old, in a plea agreement following a conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both continue to maintain that no sexual activity occurred before she was of legal age.
As an attorney, Morrissey was cited for contempt of court ten times and was jailed or arrested five times. Records from the Virginia State Bar indicate that Morrissey received a public reprimand in March 1992, and had his law license suspended twice: once in December 1993 and then again in December 1999.
On December 21, 2001, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Morrissey was disbarred and on April 25, 2003, his license to practice law was revoked by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.
“Frequent episodes of unethical, contumacious, or otherwise inappropriate conduct mar Joseph D. Morrissey’s career as prosecutor and private defense attorney,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit noted in September 2002. The 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.”