Best Crime of Passion - 2007
Public defender falls in love with Peruvian painter. Problem is, Peruvian can?t get a work visa. They?re a gay couple, so the marriage = citizenship formula is out of the question. Public defender agonizes: My country? My love? Up steps a friend (who also happens to be a female, and a subordinate in the Public Defender?s Office), who agrees to a sham Vegas wedding. (Witness to the affair: the ?wife??s boyfriend ? a city prosecutor!) Couples return to St. Louis and carry on with life per usual. Until the U.S. Attorney?s Office gets wind of the scheme and charges public defender and painter with one count apiece of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Indictment comes down June 1. Perhaps needless to say, Eric Affholter is no longer the St. Louis public defender. His subordinate, Collette Lewis, resigned. Pedro Cerna-Rojas, the Peruvian painter, hasn?t been seen around these parts since. Wasn?t meant to be.