Posts Tagged ‘incest’
Court documents show that Professor David Epstein (yep, he’s still a professor here), pleaded guilty on May 10 to a misdemeanor charge of attempted incest. The misdemeanor Epstein pleaded guilty to is a step down from the felony charge of incest he was originally hit with. Epstein will be placed under conditional discharge (essentially a less invasive form of probation) for one year.
Professor Epstein and his lawyer declined comment.
Inspired by the Core Scholars Program, a competition which awards prizes for original work on the Core, we decided to craft our own submission.
A truth acknowledged universally
Within the core of university
Is that a single man (or dame) would ford
A violent ocean for a cash award.
But though the wealth of nations often pays,
Along with fillers for our résumés,
The truths we’ve learned in our curriculum
Will aide in life and in periculum. More »
Because, as we reported yesterday, the law regards the child in the parent-child relationship as the victim, at least in this case. Despite the fact that the daughter was of age during the entire, three-year relationship, according to the law incest “truly can’t be a consensual sexual act.”
But—there’s always a but!—that isn’t always the case. According to Slate, a 48-year-old Florida man and his 27-year-old daughter were both charged with incest after the latter gave birth to her father’s daughter. The situation between siblings is even trickier: The sibling more likely to get charged in such relationship is the older one, and the male one (if it’s heterosexual). Prosecutors in general will go after the partner who they feel controls the power dynamic. Who knew incest law was so complex? [Slate]
Two quick updates from this afternoon:
- The News desk’s Sarah Darville reports that, according to the criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, professor David Epstein’s incest was committed between July 2006 and June 2009 at a University Apartment Housing building on 120th Street. We still don’t know who filed the complaint.
- Salon has an interview with law professor J. Dean Carro, who answers some of the legal questions we at Spec have had about the Epstein case. Why, for instance, would Epstein and not his daughter be charged if the incest was, as all reports have indicated, “consensual”?
Most courts are concerned about parents preying on their children, he said. “Regardless of the age of the child, there’s still a theory that a parent is always a parent, a child is always a child and, as a result, there truly can’t be a consensual sexual act.” That explains why the daughter isn’t charged in this case. “The idea is the perpetrator is the parent and the victim is the child. We don’t normally prosecute a person falling within the protected class, and you remain a member of the protected class even above age of consent.”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week (even just for the past 24 hours) you know it’s been a pretty: a) exciting b) devastating c) newsworthy d) all of the above– week for Columbia. We’ve got students arrested for drug charges and professors charged with incest…we live in exciting, devastating and newsworthy times, people! Except– come on, cosmos! Really? It’s officially finals week. Could you cut us some slack? While I’m praying to the Columbia powers-that-be to protect us from any further crime-related shenanigans until the end of finals, you can catch up on what you’ve missed since it all went down:
The Daily News reports that political science professor David Epstein, 46, was charged today with having a sexual relationship with
a young female relative his daughter. He faces a single felony incest count. If convicted, he’ll face up to four years in prison.
According to the Columbia Bulletin, Epstein is currently teaching a lecture class called “Scope and Methods” as well as a class called “Research Topics and Game Theory.” According to a University spokesman, Epstein is now on administrative leave.
UPDATE (8:25 p.m.): We reached Epstein on his cell phone, but he declined to comment on his court appearance today.
UPDATE (8:40 p.m.): According to NYPD, the young female relative is Epstein’s daughter, age 24. He was arrested yesterday at 11 a.m. and charged with one count of incest in the third degree. According to police, the relationship appears to have been consensual.
UPDATE (9:22 p.m.): A statement from Epstein’s defense lawyer, Matthew Galluzzo: “David is a respected member of the Columbia University and national academic communities and we think he deserves privacy and respect while the investigators are investigating. We are asking people to remember that these allegations are nothing more than allegations… We’re asking his friends in the Columbia community to support him and give him the benefit of the doubt.” Galluzzo also confirmed that Epstein is not in custody anymore—he was released, and no trial date has yet been set.
UPDATE (9:33 p.m.): Epstein is married to a tenured Columbia professor.
UPDATE (9:39 p.m.): We reached Epstein’s wife as well, but she too declined to comment.
UPDATE (10:43 p.m.): According to a recent update to his Facebook page, Epstein is no longer married.