Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Does Iowa Still Prosecute Consenting Adults?

Breaking news out of the state of Iowa, and the details are scant. At we are told in the headline that a "Spencer pair" was "charged with incest."
Two Spencer residents were booked into Clay County Jail on Sunday, each charged with incest. Jerrold Marble, 35, and Elizabeth Welch, 18, were each arrested and charged in the matter.

The blurb go on to say that investigation is ongoing and that more information will provided after completion of the investigation.

Three things I noted from the scant information provided:

1. These people are both adults.
2. Their pictures were included in the online article.
3. They have different last names.

I did find a Facebook page that appears to be Elizabeth's, and one of her "friends" is someone by the name of Jerrold Marble, though he has no picture displayed on the Facebook page. I also found a second Facebook page with the name and picture of Elizabeth Welch connected to the other one as a "sister," but I think they are the same person. An additional name is also provided at that page, and again that name is different than Marble's, while plenty of other family members are listed. Marble is not listed as a family member.

So, my experienced speculation based on this information is that we should either expect there is an underage victim we have yet to hear about, or, more likely, this is a matter of consensual sex between the adults named and pictured, making it a victimless "crime." After all, the news wouldn't print the name and picture of a sex crime victim, right? Given the information available, I think it is entirely possible this was a case of Genetic Sexual Attraction.

If this is a matter of consensual sex between adults, I urge law enforcement, including Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson, to stop wasting taxpayer resources. Drop the case and set them free, with apologies. If they want to be together, there is no good reason to keep them apart.

If this pair abused a minor, that is a far different matter.

I will track this story.

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