- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Court of Appeals won’t revive felony charges against ex-Virginia Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, who spent his days at the General Assembly and his nights at a county jail earlier this year after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in a sex scandal involving a 17-year-old girl.

The appeals court on Tuesday upheld an earlier dismissal of four felony counts. The charges accused Morrissey of forging a document that that he vouched for in court and persuading the teenager’s mother to attest to its authenticity. The document stemmed from a previous incident that sparked the sex scandal investigation.

In December, Morrissey pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to six months in jail as part of the plea deal, and spent his nights locked up and his days attending House of Delegates sessions on work release during the legislative session earlier this year.

The Henrico Circuit court judge ruled earlier this year that Morrissey’s plea deal in December absolved him of related potential crimes. Prosecutors sought to revive the charges, but on Tuesday, the appeals court said it lacked the authority to review the immunity provisions that were part of that plea deal.

“Although the circuit court wished for this Court to review its conclusions regarding the effect of the immunity provision of the plea agreement, we simply lack the authority to do so,” said Judge Wesley G. Russell in the opinion filed Tuesday.

Morrissey, who fathered a child with the young woman and said he intends to marry her, recently dropped out of a state Senate contest for health reasons. He said he was “pleased” the case was dismissed by the appeals court.

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