Frank Sinatra’s Famous Mug Shot: When Ol’ Blue Eyes Got Busted for “Seduction”

LODI, NJ — On November 27, 1938, Bergen County police arrested Francis Albert Sinatra, 23, for having sex with a willing female partner of legal age. The charge: “seduction.”

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Citing a morals statute established the previous year that effectively outlawed sex outside of marriage, Sinatra’s arrest papers state:

“On the second and ninth days of November 1938 at the Borough of Lodi, under the promise of marriage, [Frank Sinatra] did then and there have sexual intercourse with the said complainant, who was then and there a single female of good repute.”

Sinatra did 16 hours locked up before securing a $1,500 bond ($25,000 today) and heading out for a lawyer’s office.

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The “single female of good repute” in question turned out to be married and she aimed to protect that all precious repute by publicly pinning any “wrongdoing” on Sinatra. Alas, the seduction charge got tossed out.

Still, just when Frankie likely thought he skated, he got popped for the same “crime” of consensual intercourse on December 22.

Francis Albert Sinatra [Bergen County Sheriff’s Office]

This time the cops charged Sinatra with “adultery.” Since you could go to jail back then simply for sex with somebody single, doing it with a married person packed a definite wallop.

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Still, the bond for this go-round was only $500 ($8,700 today), and the Future Chairman of the Board walked. The following year, Frank married Nancy, his first wife and in terms of romancing women other than his wife, well … let’s just leave it at he never got arrested again.

Read more:
The Smoking Gun
Crime Museum
World History Project

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Main image: Francis Albert Sinatra [Bergen County Sheriff’s Office]



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