Monday, September 30, 2013

West Virginia Arrests Consenting Adults

News continues to comes out of Nicholas County, West Virgina, where two consenting adults were arrested for having consensual sex with each other. Life must be nice there if law enforcement personnel have time to care about "crimes" like this. Here's an early report by at
Two Nicholas County residents are in jail charged with incest.
Deputies in Nicholas County arrested Kelcey Nicholas, 28, and Lataura Jarrett, 21, both of Mt. Nebo Friday. 
While deputies were arresting Nicholas on a warrant for home confinement violation at his home in Mt. Nebo, they noticed inappropriate conduct between Nicholas and Jarrett, his step daughter.
Inappropriate to whom? They are consenting adults in a private residence. But notice, this was a matter of voluntarily revealing too much to law enforcement.
After further investigation, deputies learned that Nicholas had been married to Jarrett’s mother for the past five years and was still married to her.
Why was there even a need to investigate? Sounds like they are trying to bust this guy any way they can.
Both Nicholas and Jarrett admitted to having sex with each other at least seven times since July 15. 
Both were taken into custody and currently sit in the Central Regional Jail on $35,000 bond.
Since both were arrested, who is the victim? Was there any complaint on the par of Jarrett's mother? This guy is seven years older than Jarrett. He married her mother five years ago, which would have made Jarrett 16. How long was this guy around before then? He didn't raise her. They are consenting adults. What is the problem?

Jeffrey Spradlin at also covered the story.

Ashley B. Craig at picked up the news...

State code defines incest as "when such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with his or her father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, son, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, nephew, niece, uncle or aunt." If convicted, he could face five to 15 years in prison and/or a $500-to-$5,000 fine.
The law identifies a daughter as a person's natural or adoptive daughter or the daughter of a person's husband or wife. Father, in turn, is identified as a person's natural or adoptive father or the husband of his or her mother.

Wouldn't it be better to recognize that an adult has the right to have sex with any consenting adults?

Here's Travis Crum's report at, offering clarification...
Before charging the pair, Shafer researched state law regarding incest and consulted Nicholas County Prosecuting Attorney James "P.K." Milam, Hopkins said. They all agreed that Nicholas and Jarrett should be arrested because of the law's definition of a daughter.

According to state law, a daughter is the natural daughter of a person's husband or wife -- and Nicholas is still married to Jarrett's mother, Hopkins said. Jarrett was about 16 when her mother married Nicholas, he said.

"If you look real close at the code side, and Sgt. Shafer is a real stickler for the details," Hopkins said, "you can look and see it does include stepdaughters."
Just because the laws are stupid enough to allow prosecution of consenting adults does not mean it is a good idea to prosecute. This is a waste of resources.
After she reached adulthood, Jarrett moved out of Nicholas' home, the sheriff said. She later got married in Summersville, he said.

Deputies charged Nicholas and Jarrett each with seven counts of incest, which is a felony that calls for a penalty of between 5 and 15 years in prison.

This is absurd.

Over at, this case prompted Maries_Mom23 to ask, "What do you consider to be 'incest'?" This is something I have answered here. Most of the responses at cafemom, even if they say it isn't incest, are still negative about the relationship.

Here's what I've written about steprelations.

Nicholas apparently has a record of some sort, hence the initial visit by law enforcement. However, the criminal justice system must deal with actual crimes, and not harass people who have committed crimes in the past by charging them with things like having consensual sex with another adult in the privacy of their own home.
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  1. Whenever I read anything like this, I want to just cry. It's just heartrending.

  2. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton made this country a constitutional republic rather than a direct democracy. He cited the tyranny of the majority as one of the main reasons. One of the main purposes of the Constitution was to prevent an ignorant majority from stomping upon the rights of marginalized communities and groups. Rights are not reserved for the majority.


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