Lawmaker Facing Charges Says He Won't Resign

July 1, 2014

Embattled Delegate Joseph D. Morrissey (D) says there's no way he's going to resign, despite facing sex charges involving a then 17-year-old girl.

Del. Morrissey told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors accused him of having sex with a 17-year-old employee in his law office. Morrissey was also accused of asking for and receiving an explicit photo via text message and then showing that photo to a friend.

Morrissey claims the prosecutor has a vendetta out for him, and that another woman planted the photo.

"Let me say this, I've been wrongly accused, and I'm going to be totally exonerated when the evidence comes out," said Morrissey.

Calls for Del. Morrissey to resign are mounting: Northern Virginia Democrat Mark Keam says Morrissey should work on his legal troubles as a private citizen, not as a delegate.

House Minority Leader David Toscano calls the allegations shocking, but is not asking Morrissey to step down yet.

"Any time somebody is charged with a felony, especially one involving a youngster, it's pretty serious,” said Toscano. “But a person is entitled to a presumption of innocence, and the prosecutor will have to prove their case. Del. Morrissey insists that he's innocent, and we're going to find out."

Morrissey faces five felony charges. If he's convicted of any of them, he would be automatically removed from office.


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