Sanford’s Adultery May Be Criminal Under South Carolina Law

This was originally reported on Daily Kos yesterday and I mean to blog it then, but forgot. I've heard someone make the claim that this isn't really a crime since it didn't happen in South Carolina. I think the point is that Adultery is still on the book sin a few States as being a crime and that since he's admitted adultery, Sanford's technically broken his own states archaic laws.

This is from Think Progress:

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) didn’t just “let down a lot of people” when he spent the last week in Argentina with his mistress, he may have committed a crime. Under South Carolina law:

Any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and, on conviction, shall be severally punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. . . . “Adultery” is the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse with each other without living together of a man and woman when either is lawfully married to some other person.

Fortunately for Sanford, it is not entirely clear that the South Carolina justice system has jurisdiction over an apparent crime that he committed while traveling abroad in Argentina. His lawyers might also argue that he cannot be convicted of criminal adultery because he and his Argentine lover were not engaged in “habitual carnal intercourse” — Sanford maintains that he only traveled to Argentina to see his mistress on rare occasions.


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