Sanhedrin 8 - One Who Defames His Wife

Claims against a rapist, a seducer, and the claim of a defamer are judged by the court of three - this is the opinion of Rabbi Meir, but the Sages says that the claim of a defamer is judged by a court of twenty three (small Sanhedrin), because cases of defamation include capital cases.

A defamer usually refers to a husband who falsely declares in court that his wife was not a virgin when their marriage was consummated. He claims that she had committed adultery after they were legally married and produces false witnesses to her adultery. After the witnesses are found false, he must pay a fine of 100 shekels to her father, he is liable to lashes, and he may never divorce her against her will.

Art: Gabriel Metsu - The Cittern Player