The Grapevine

Chalena Moody, Oregon Woman, Jailed For Incestuous Relationship After Bearing Kids With Father

in prison
Two individuals in Oregon are among the few people arrested for incest. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

A 25-year-old woman and her 49-year-old biological father have been arrested in Oregon for carrying on an incestuous relationship that resulted in the birth of two children. Although the relationship was consensual, under Oregon law it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with a person whom you know to be a family member.

Chalena Moody spent most of her life with her father in and out of prison, and the two did not meet until she was already an adult. It was then that the pair’s newly found family love turned into something more romantic. Shortly after reconnecting, Moody and her father Eric Lee Gates, 49, moved in together and subsequently had two children. As reported by Gawker, the authorities became aware of the couple’s incestuous affair after an elderly neighbor suspected the couple of committing elder abuse. When the claim turned out to be false, police discovered something equally shocking: incest.

Under Oregon law, incest is a Class C felony and punishable by up to five years in prison and a $125,000 fine, The Daily Mail reported. An individual is considered as committing incest when he or she "marries or engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a person whom the person knows to be related to the person, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant or brother or sister of either the whole or half blood." The crime is not commonly prosecuted, with a local detective telling The Register Guard that he can "recall only one or two incest cases in the last 20 or 30 years in Springfield in which charges were pursued."

Although Moody received a 10-day jail sentence, she received credit for time served and is currently on an 18 months’ probation. Part of her probation is that she is not allowed to see her father, who currently is serving 60 days in jail for his offence of both pleading guilty to incest and violating his probation, The Associated Press reported. The couple’s two children have been placed in foster care for the time being.

Although incest is not a commonly discussed topic, experts believe it happens more often than not. In an article published by The Guardian, strong physical attraction between first family members, also known as genetic sexual attraction, is believed to occur in nearly half of all reunions where estranged family members meet up again during adulthood. Many of these relationships are reportedly based on genuine love and respect for each other.

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