Arizona recently made national news (again) because a man in Glendale, Arizona called the authorities to have his wife arrested under Arizona's adultery law. Apparently she had cheated on him for more than 10 years, but he didn't take any action earlier because of the children. She admits to having extramarital affairs, but says that they are separated and can't afford a divorce.
In Arizona there is a law that states that if a married person files a complaint against his or her spouse claiming that the spouse had sexual intercourse outside of the marriage with another person, the cheating spouse may be found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. You can find the law in Arizona Revised Statutes, ARS 13-1408. It reads as follows:
A married person who has sexual intercourse with another than his or her spouse, and an unmarried person who has sexual intercourse with a married person not his or her spouse, commits adultery and is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. When the act is committed between parties only one of whom is married, both shall be punished.According to Phillips Law Group, a Class 3 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and possible fines.
B. No prosecution for adultery shall be commenced except upon complaint of the husband or wife.
Of course, Arizona isn't the only state with laws making adultery a crime. I actually saw a map online indicating which states have such laws.
Should there be time limit (statute of limitations) on such a claim? Would fewer people cheat on their spouses if they thought jail time might be a consequence? Would fewer single people have affairs with married people if they knew they could be prosecuted? Should adultery be a criminal matter, considering that Arizona is a no-fault divorce state (except in the case of a covenant marriage)?
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