Along with the charge of adultery, Suzanne Corona was charged with public lewdness. Her partner at the time was 29-year-old Justin Amend, who was also charged with public lewdness. By Corona's side during her court appearance, holding her hand, was her husband.
Corona is only the 13th individual in the history of New York to be charged with adultery. Only five people have been convicted.
According to CBS News, she 41-year-old told reporters afterward, "You could have been a passerby and not have known there was anything going on."
She said even her husband had forgiven her and wanted the charge dropped. Joseph Corona had called the district attorney himself.
"I wish that the charges were dropped so that we could resolve this as a man and wife, more of a private matter," he told The Batavian, as reported by AOL News.
But the matter was not private when the act of alleged adultery occurred that precipitated the charge.
In fact, after both participants denied having sex -- they told the police officer that they were "just talking" -- Corona later admitted that the two were actually having sex. According to court records obtained by WHAM in Rochester, Corona said to the arresting officer, "Officer, I know what I did was inappropriate and I apologize but you'd understand if you knew what my life was like. I have a transgender husband and we never have sex. One thing led to another."
Corona also says that Batavia police are painting an inaccurate picture. She says there was no one around to see them.
But if no one was around to see them or know what the couple was doing, why did a mother of two children playing nearby call the police?
Corona told reporters that Amend's "genitals were exposed perhaps by the zipper, but that's it."
But, exposed genitals are not the same thing as being engaged in sexual congress.
ABC News reported that Officer Eric Hill of the Batavia Police Department told a press conference Friday that Officer Matthew Baldwin was the responding officer. Baldwin approached the scene at 5:15 p.m. on June 4 and found two people engaged in sexual intercourse on a picnic table.
"He asked them what they were doing," Hill said, "and they said, 'Just talking,' and obviously they weren't just talking."
Baldwin knew Suzanne Corona was married because of prior encounters with her and her husband. He charged her with adultery and public lewdness. Amend was only charged with public lewdness, claiming he had not known Corona was married.
According to Buffalo.edu, New York State penal law Section 255.17 states, "A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse."
Although the charge is a rarity -- for obvious reasons -- it would seem that, unless Corona can prove the unconstitutionality of the law as it stands, she, by her own admission and by being caught in flagrante delicto by a police officer (not to mention the witness who phoned in the complaint), will face conviction as defined by the existing law when her case goes to trial. If convicted, Corona could go to jail for up to 90 days or be charged a $500 fine.
As for Joseph Corona and his wish for the matter to remain private, it seems that the decision to make it a public matter was made by his wife in the park that day. And, her decision to challenge the constitutionality of the law also seems at odds with keeping the matter private. But, he plans to stand by his wife: "I've got 40 something more years to spend with my wife," he told reporters, according to CBS News. "I'm not gonna throw it out over one incident."
It isn't the same as being branded with a scarlet letter and having everyone know of a seeming indiscretion, but it does not appear that national exposure via the media would be much different -- besides the brand, that i