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Va. Lawyer Out of Jail, Present as Teen Lover Gives Birth

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 18, 2015 9:38 AM

A Virginia lawyer and politician accused of having sex with his law firm's then-17-year-old receptionist is out of jail, but his legal troubles aren't over yet.

Virginia Delegate Joseph D. Morrissey was released from jail last week -- just in time to be present as his former receptionist gave birth, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Morrissey, a former high school teacher and Georgetown Law grad, served as the Commonwealth's Attorney for Richmond and was later elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. He was accused in 2013 of an having improper relationship with his law firm's teen receptionist. That woman gave birth over the weekend to a healthy baby boy, with Morrissey by her side.

Baby's Father Not Disclosed

The girl, now almost 19, did not list a father on the child's birth certificate. Both she and Morrissey continue to deny that any inappropriate relationship existed between them.

In 2013, the then-55-year-old Morrissey was found at his home with his 17-year-old employee, leading to his indictment a year later on felony charges of indecent liberties with a minor and electronic solicitation of a minor.

Morrissey also faced charges for the possession and distribution of child pornography; he was accused of requesting and receiving a nude photo of the girl, which he then allegedly forwarded to a friend.

Felony Charges Await

In December, Morrissey was sentenced to six months as part of a plea deal in which he pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He served three months before being released.

After initially resigning as a Delegate to the Virginia House in 2014, Morrissey ran as an independent and reclaimed his lost seat while serving his jail sentence, The Washington Post reports. A special prosecutor indicted him again shortly after his win, this time on charges of perjury and forgery.

Morrissey is expected to go to trial for forgery and perjury later this year.

Morrissey's most recent troubles are just the latest in a string of public controversies. He was disbarred by the District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia and, as ABC News reported, once pulled out an unloaded AK-47 while on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates.

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