Man found not guilty of rare adultery charge

August 11, 2010 10:50:00 AM

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A Noxubee County man whose wife pressed charges against him for adultery was found not guilty Tuesday. 

 

In mid-July, Cortiga Smith Williams, accused her husband of three years, Lashawn Williams, of cheating on her with Roshanda Jackson. Noxubee County Justice Court Judge Dirk Dixon dismissed the case citing a lack of evidence. 

 

"The statute says it has to be more than once -- a series of times," said Terry Grassaree, chief deputy of the Noxubee County Sheriff''s Office. "For that, you more or less have to catch them having sex." 

 

The only thing Cortiga Smith Williams could produce was a photograph of her husband''s car outside Jackson''s house. When asked if they had been having sex, Jackson and Lashawn Williams said they were just friends. 

 

Grassaree said Lashawn Williams'' comments in the courtroom indicated he and his wife would not be staying together. 

 

"He said on the witness stand that it''s over with him and his wife," Grassaree said. 

 

Cortiga Smith Williams decided to bring the adultery charge against her husband after she researched her options and found an old statute still in the Mississippi Code of 1972 that lists adultery as a criminal offense. Noxubee and Lowndes County officials were unaware of an modern instance in which someone had actually been convicted of the crime. The penalty for someone found guilty of adultery or fornication is six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. 

 

However, Grassaree said Jackson was found guilty of throwing trash at Cortiga Smith Williams'' truck. She was fined and put on probation for malicious mischief.