Mugshot of Del. Joe Morrissey taken as he was arrested on charges related to an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor (Source: Henrico Sheriff's Office)
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -
Delegate Joe Morrissey (D - Henrico) lashed out at prosecutors and critics on Tuesday, denying he had an inappropriate relationship with his 17-year-old former receptionist and saying his phone was hacked.
Morrissey spoke outside the Henrico courthouse.
He faces four felony and one misdemeanor charge. The counts stem from allegations he had a sexual relationship with a minor while she was employed at his office, then asked her for naked photos which he shared with a friend.
It was his first time speaking out about the case and said he can prove he's been wrongly accused. Morrissey released new information claiming that he hired experts to go through phone records and that he has alibis. Morrissey continues to deny a sexual relationship with the teenager for the dates listed on the indictment.
"I'm going to be totally exonerated," he said. "I will win because I will be vindicated, I will be vindicated because of the facts and because of the evidence."
Those are strong words 24 hours after he was booked in Henrico Jail West over indictments he allegedly had a sexual relationship with his teenage receptionist. He addressed the incidents, which according to the indictment happened between August 20 and August 23, 2013.
"Those allegations that I had sex with her on the 20th are absolutely wrong," he said. Morrissey says he was in Charles City County that day and there are photos and people who can prove it. In regards to the allegation of sexual activity at his office he said, "That did not happen."
In reference to the police finding the teen at Morrissey's home last August, the delegate maintains she had permission. He says he was helping her deal with a family issue. A lawyer for the teen has even spoken out, denying the alleged tryst. "She never wavered from the fact that there was no sexual activity," says Morrissey.
He also says experts he hired can prove his phone was hacked by another woman and the teenager never sent him a nude photo or graphic texts. "There is nothing on that phone with me sending any texts, photographs, etcetera," he said.
He says he's speaking out on behalf of his daughters, constituents and employees.
"My life isn't going to change today," he said. "I'm going to continue to defend people. I'm going to continue to spend time with the people that I love and I will get ready for trial."
Morrissey says his legal team was not allowed to present the evidence from those experts to the grand jury, but it will be used when they go to trial.
The special prosecutor tells NBC12 Morrissey's arraignment may not be for a couple of weeks.
The Henrico politician vowed to continue fighting the charges all the way to trial and said he would not step down from his office.
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