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Sometimes, however, punishment was also proscribed for the man who, not being the husband of the married woman, had committed adultery with her against her husband.
In instances where a married woman was raped, the rapist would be guilty of the crime of adultery against the raped victim’s husband, but the raped married woman would not be guilty of adultery against her husband as she did not consensually submit to the act forced upon her by her rapist.
For example, New York defines an adulterer as a person who "engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse." In the 2003 New Hampshire Supreme Court case Blanchflower v.
Blanchflower, it was held that female same-sex sexual relations did not constitute sexual intercourse, based on a 1961 definition from Webster's Third New International Dictionary; and thereby an accused wife in a divorce case was found not guilty of adultery. Bushey, for adultery, a case that ended in a guilty plea and a 5 fine.
Adultery involving a married woman and a man other than her husband was considered a very serious crime.
In 1707, English Lord Chief Justice John Holt stated that a man having sexual relations with another man's wife was "the highest invasion of property" and claimed, in regard to the aggrieved husband, that "a man cannot receive a higher provocation" (in a case of murder or manslaughter). 1 (1751), also equated adultery to theft writing that, "adultery is, after homicide, the most punishable of all crimes, because it is the most cruel of all thefts, and an outrage capable of inciting murders and the most deplorable excesses." Legal definitions of adultery vary.
Though what sexual activities constitute adultery varies, as well as the social, religious, and legal consequences, the concept exists in many cultures and is similar in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
A single act of consensual extramarital sexual intercourse between a married person with someone other than their lawful spouse is generally sufficient to constitute adultery, while a more long-term sexual relationship is sometimes referred to as an affair.