Adultery, * criminal law. From ad and alter, another person; a criminal conversation, between a man married to another woman, and a woman married to another man, or a married and unmarriod person. The married person is guilty of adultery, the unmarried of fornicatiou. (q. v.) 1 Yeates, 6; 2 Dall. 124; but see 2 Blackf. 318.

2. The elements of this crime are, 1st, that there shall be an unlawful carnal connexion; 2dly, that the guilty party shall at the time be married; 3dly, that he or she shall willingly commit the offence; for a woman who has been ravished against her will is not guilty of adultery. Domat, Supp. du Droit Public, liv. 3, t. 10, n. 13.

3. The punishment of adultery, in the United States, generally, is fine and imprisonment.

4. In England it is left to the feeble hands of the ecclesiastical courts to punish this offence.

5. Adultery in one of the married persons is good cause for obtaining a divorce by the innocent partner. See 1 Pick. 136; 8 Pick. 433; 9 Mass. 492: 14 Pick. 518; 7 Greenl. 57; 8 Greenl. 75; 7 Conn. 267 10 Conn. 372; 6 Verm. 311; 2 Fairf. 391 4 S. & R. 449; 5 Rand. 634; 6 Rand. 627; 8 S. & R. 159; 2 Yeates, 278, 466; 4 N. H. Rep. 501; 5 Day, 149; 2 N. & M. 167.

6. As to proof of adultery, see 2 Greenl. 40, Marriage.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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