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Bryant has said he committed adultery by having consensual sex with his accuser in his hotel at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colo. He faces four years to life imprisonment if convicted.

Quoted from Los Angles Times, 2003

Was adultery a serious crime/felony in the United States back in 2003? It’s unimaginable that adultery could lead to such consequences.Or do I misunderstand the report?

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Yeah, he's basically always claimed it to be consensual. You probably need to look at more articles from around the incident to learn more about the case & accusation. And, look, there is even a wikipedia article on it

Edit since you just added a post: Do you have the original article? It could just be at that time the public basically knew he was being accused of sexual assault so that's what the if convicted (of_____) refers to.

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The information about adultery on wikipedia says this about North America:

North America

In the United States, laws vary from state to state. In those states where adultery is still on the statute book (although rarely prosecuted), penalties vary from life sentence (Michigan),[54] to a fine of $10 (Maryland), to a Class I felony (Wisconsin).[55] In the U.S. Military, adultery is a potential court-martial offense.[16] The enforceability of adultery laws in the United States is unclear following Supreme Court decisions since 1965 relating to privacy and sexual intimacy of consenting adults.[56] However, occasional prosecutions do occur.[57]

I am surprised that it is still considered a crime in The US. In most of parts of Europe it is not a crime anymore.

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