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No decision from attorney on whether to challenge constitutionality of adultery law

By Howard B. Owens

Whether the Suzanne Corona case will lead to a constitutional challenge to New York's adultery law is not a given, according to her new attorney Brian P. Degnan.

After Corona appeared in Judge Michael Delplato's courtroom for the first time today after selecting Degnan to represent her (Degnan is the son-in-law of the original judge on the case, Robert Balbick), Degnan told reporters that he wants to examine a plea offer from the District Attorney's office and decide how to proceed from there.

"We have not reached a deposition in this case and I'm interested in whatever would enable my client to get the best disposition in her best interest at this time," Degnan said when asked whether he would persue a constitutional challenge to the adultery law.

He called the law bizarre and unusual, noting that it has been prosecuted only 13 times in New York since 1970.

Degnan would not discuss the specifics of the plea offer.

Even if the adultery charge were dropped, attorneys have told The Batavian on background that Corona, merely because she has been charged with the crime, could seek judicial review of the statute.

Today, in her second court appearance on the case, Cornona did not enter a plea to the adultery or public lewdness charges.

A hearing was set for Aug. 18, where Corona could either agree to any plea deal still on the table, or Degnan could begin filing pre-trial motions.

In court, Degnan said he may file a motion for the prosecution to produce any additional evidence it may not yet have turned over in the case. Degnan said the main issue is, he doesn't know whether there are recordings available of any 9-1-1 calls.

"I need to have all of the evidence before me so I can advise my client of the best avenue to take," Degnan later told reporters.

Corona, 41, is accused of engaging in a public sex act in Farrall Park in early June with Justin Amend, 29, of Oakfield.

Amend did not appear in court this morning, but his attorney did and said he's seeking a plea offer from the District Attorney's office.

Lisa Falkowski

This initial story may have been newsworthy, but I no longer find updates amusing or worthwhile in print or in taking any of my time. This Lolita needs no more publicity or encouragement. Let the legal system do its job. Keep this story out of the limelight. Don't encourage this situation any longer. It's just trash.

Jul 1, 2010, 7:47am Permalink
Dave Olsen

Just my two cents here; I agree with Lisa, this woman so obviously craves attention. Let's not enable. I notice that the dude is nowhere to be seen or heard from, he sends his attorney. I bet he wishes he would've gone to the movies instead of the bar that day and never encountered this person. Just an opinion, you know I support freedom of the press.

Jul 1, 2010, 8:25am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

It doesn't matter whether she craves attention or not. It's a high profile case with potentially important and significant social and legal issues. There's no avoiding this as a news story.

Jul 1, 2010, 9:15am Permalink
Autumn Connolly

I love this story. They have a TV show that shows this type of drama. Now we have a cheater being caught and humiliated live. Who ever has been cheated on in their lives could feel vindicated by this story. So many people think it is just second nature to cheat today and this might make people re-think their action because there are more consequences involved.(Like the possibility of losing your family isn't good enough.) She deserves what she gets. As for the accomplice, Everyone knows who he is now and after this publicity he is going to end up dateless for along

Jul 1, 2010, 7:59pm Permalink
Janice Stenman

Howard, I agree with you. This case brings attention to an archaic law that is rarely applied. Therefore, the challange to this law is high profile and very important.

Jul 4, 2010, 12:48am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Janice, I don't think, at this point, there will be a challenge to the law, but because of the nature of the law, and the fact that there was an opportunity to challenge it, still makes it an important case.

Jul 4, 2010, 1:25am Permalink

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