An Antioch woman and her 23-year-old son allegedly had an openly sexual relationship that produced a child and another pregnancy and have been charged with incest under a law that could put them in state prison for up to three years.
Three years in prison for having consensual sex with another adult?
Robert Kochly, assistant chief district attorney in Contra Costa County, said Saturday the woman, who is 43, and her son not only haven't denied their alleged relationship, but are defiant about it.
"It is a strange case. This mother and son have taken up as a married couple and she had siblings of his living in the home with her," Kochly said.
The pregnant woman, being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the West County Justice Center in Richmond, is scheduled to appear in court this week.
Yes, jail a pregnant 43-year-old for the "crime" of having sex. Makes sense, right?
Her son fled with the couple's toddler and two of the woman's other children - his half brothers - ages 13 and 16, according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Sequiera, who is handling the case.Well, yeah, if law enforcement was going to break up the family, I could see why he'd flee.
Sequiera said police had several leads on the young man's whereabouts and he was optimistic they would find him within the next few days.
According to Sequiera, the man was removed from his mother's custody when he was no more than 5 years old and raised primarily by his grandmother.
The man sought out his mother when he was 18, authorities said, and eventually began living with her.
I did not read this article when I started this blog entry. So this sounds like a case of Genetic Sexual Attraction.
A girl, now 22 months old, was born to the pair, and the woman is pregnant with a second child by her son, Sequiera said.
This is how law enforcement got involved...
The woman's children also include an adult daughter who is a full sister to the 23-year-old son, and a 10-year-old daughter, fathered by another man who also is the father of the two teenage boys.
Kochly said the case came to authorities' attention when the 10-year-old girl told school officials about her mother's relationship.
The girl allegedly was encouraged by her mother to call her half brother "Daddy."
"She just didn't want to go home anymore," Kochly said.
Was she abused/neglected? Probably not, because no mention is made of that. Instead, it could have been a 10-year-old who doesn't like having a grown up half-sister, two teen brothers, a toddler, and a baby on the way to her home. She wouldn't have been the first girl that age to not want to live with that situation. But most who say they don't want to go home because of it are told "tough."
According to police reports, relatives told authorities the mother and son have been romantically involved for several years, sleeping in the same room and showering together.
And the problem is??? There isn't a problem.
Sequiera said he has never seen a similar case in the 15 years he has worked in the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.
People who are happy with their home life usually don't contact law enforcement to put that home life in jeopardy.
He added the office generally does not prosecute sex crimes between consenting adults.Good. Consensual sex should not be a crime in the first place.
"We quit being moral police a long time ago," he said.
"The reason I decided to prosecute was because they had a child and another on the way. It's not really a victimless crime anymore. There's a reason it's against the law, because birth defects go up 10 times."
That number was pulled out from a certain dark place in the anatomy.
Now read this very carefully...
Sequiera said there is some indication from relatives that the toddler may suffer from physical and mental handicaps.I hope the defense was able to use that statement, because it is outrageous. Whether or not a parent is going to be prosecuted depends on if their child has "birth defects" or not?!? It is legal for another couple to have sex and children even if they have four children already and all of them have birth defects. Where's the equality? If the toddler did have challenges, it could have been due to any number of factors, including the age of the mother.
"What's going to make my decision on what position we take in the case is whether that 2-year-old has birth defects," he said. "If they sentenced that child to a life with a handicap, that's something different."
STOP THE PRESSES! I was about to publish this when I found a subsequent article from the same website, from 2001 (so about a year and a half to two years later), written by Charlie Goodyear.
An Antioch woman and her adult son whose incestuous relationship resulted in a child are accused of violating terms of their probation for convictions of child endangerment last year.Probation, eh? What terrible thing did they do to violate probation?
The unusual case was reopened after the county Social Services Department reported receiving a taped phone message in December in which the 45-year-old woman and her son, 24, were discussing custody options for their 3-year-old daughter, conceived through the illegal relationship. Officials believe the defendants were together while the call was made to the county department.
"Somebody heard the message and was convinced it was the guy's voice in the background," said prosecutor Paul Sequiera.
Oh, no! You mean two adults might have been in the same room, discussing their daughter?!? Horrible!
The Chronicle has not identified the defendants in order to protect the privacy of the girl and five other minor children belonging to the woman. All of the children have been placed in foster care.
Although incest charges are rarely filed in California, prosecutors decided they had to act because the illegal relationship produced a child.The only thing endangering the children from what I can tell is taking them away from their parents and putting them in foster care.
But when authorities learned last year that the child was not suffering from any long-term genetic disability, the defendants were allowed to plead no contest to child endangerment charges.
As part of the plea, they were sentenced to two years in state prison. That term was suspended by Lindenbaum, who agreed to place the defendants on five years probation with an order that they stay away from each other.Ridiculous. Let's follow the reasoning here for a moment. It's illegal for them to have sex because they are genetic mother and son, and they are "supposed" to have a different kind of relationship. So what happens? They are ordered to have no relationship whatsoever. Now the daughter does not get to have her parents together because of some outsiders ordering that. So tell me again about how family relationships are supposed to be? The children are taken away and placed in foster care, which is what happened to the grown man when he was a child, putting at least some of them in circumstances where they may end up experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction, too! Although, fewer people know about GSA back then.
Why couldn't they have just been left alone?
Lawyers said the judge was unlikely to send either defendant to prison for violating a stay-away order unless the conduct had caused harm to the girl.
"Basically, Judge Lindenbaum's attitude is that these people better not do anything that negatively impacts the kid," said defense attorney Stuart Willis, who represents the son.
Uh, you mean like taking her away from her parents because they have consensual sex with each other?
Willis said his client has not been living with his mother. Both defendants sat in different rows of the courtroom audience and did not look at one another while waiting for their case to be called, lawyers said.
Contra Costa Deputy Public Defender Paul Mariano said county officials dislike his client and were eager to report her to the probation department for any violation, however minor.
"They were morally offended by the nature of the offense," Mariano said. "But Judge Lindenbaum treated it appropriately."
They should have been left alone. This is yet another example of why full marriage equality is needed sooner rather than later.
I don't know what the outcome was all of this. Perhaps some research would provide more information? It is difficult without names. I hope it turned out well for the entire family. If anyone recognizes this case and wants to update me, feel free to comment or to send me email at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com.