Within a few days the photograph had sparked so much controversy that Mellissa Williamson came to her door smoking a cigarette Thursday morning.It was a sign that the Southeast Roanoke woman didn’t know or didn’t care about the furor her photograph had ignited since it appeared in The Roanoke Times on Sept. The photo showed her seven months pregnant and smoking a cigarette.
She now faces 3 counts of Sexual Assault by 18 years of age or older Sex Battery Victim under 12 years of age, 11 counts of Sexual Assault by Custodian Sexy Battery Victim 12 years of age and under 18 years of age.
GOVERNMENT WARNING: According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.
In this context, many people found it anything from puzzling to ludicrous to see a newspaper photograph of a woman expressing concern about the effect of jackhammer noise on her unborn child while visibly puffing away on a cigarette.
“I really don’t pay that much attention to it,” she said. They’ve got theirs and I’ve got mine.” She has tried every way to quit without success, she said. Emmett III weighed 5 pounds, 2 ounces at birth and measured 18.5 inches in length. Muse is 49, a big man in a camouflage jacket who has applied for disability because of a back injury he suffered in car wreck several years ago.
As for smoking while pregnant, she said her doctor told her “it would be good if I cut back, but if I totally quit, it would not only cause stress on me but it would cause stress on the baby.”I dropped in at the apartment that Williamson and Emmett Muse Jr. She was in the front room, dressed in a red sweat shirt and white pants and holding Emmett Muse III — the baby she bore at a.m. Williamson, 35, is a small woman who worked at a fast-food restaurant until after she became pregnant. Clearly the couple is thrilled by their newborn — Emmett’s first child and Mellisa’s second. Despite [the couple’s] smoking, their apartment did not smell of smoke.