Enforcement of Adultery Law Raises Eyebrows in Connecticut

From Associated Press

Connecticut has rediscovered a relic from its Puritan past: Police this summer have charged four people with adultery.

In a state known for progressive laws on abortion rights, education and the environment, use of the rarely enforced state adultery law is raising eyebrows.

“It’s a dinosaur,” said New Haven attorney Hugh Keefe. “What a spouse needs if she has a cheating husband is a divorce lawyer, not a cop.”


Under the law, a married person commits adultery by having sexual intercourse with someone other than his or her spouse. Single people cannot be charged. Conviction on the misdemeanor charge carries up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Connecticut authorities say they have no choice but to enforce the law. Before this year, just two people were charged with adultery since 1985.

The first arrest this year occurred in Norwich on June 1, when a man locked in a divorce battle claimed he looked through a window of a house and witnessed his wife having sex with another man.

On Tuesday, police in East Lyme arrested a man and a woman, both married but not to each other, after receiving a complaint from the man’s wife.

Police in New London made another arrest Tuesday when they broke up a domestic squabble over a woman’s alleged infidelity and arrested the woman after she admitted having an affair.