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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Oregon Prosecuting Consenting Adults, Tearing Children Away From Parents

A father and his adult daughter are facing charges of incest after their arrests in Klamath Falls, Springfield police said. Two children who are a result of their relationship have been placed in foster care, according to detectives. Eric Lee Gates, 49, and his daughter, Chalena Moody, 25, both formerly lived in Springfield.
Gates was arrested Dec. 23 in Klamath Falls and extradited Wednesday to Lane County, where he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. He is expected back in court Feb. 11. Moody, who also goes by the last name of Risland, was arrested Tuesday in Klamath Falls and released on bail. She was ordered to appear in Lincoln County on Jan. 26 to face an unrelated 2010 charge of reckless endangerment. Details of that case were not immediately available.
Warrants for Gates’ and Moody’s arrests were issued by Springfield police in April, after investigators were alerted to the relationship by an elderly woman, police said. At that time, Gates and Moody were under investigation for an elder abuse claim, but detectives later determined they were not involved in any such abuse. However, Gates and Moody allegedly were open about their relationship, and the elderly woman told police about the father-daughter couple.
The relationship between Gates and Moody has been ongoing for “quite some time, it appears,” Springfield police Detective Dave Lewis said. Gates and Moody are both the biological parents of two children under 2 years of age, Lewis said.
[...] Lewis said Gates and Moody claimed their relationship was consensual, and admitted to being father-daughter and also conceiving children together. DNA tests were performed on the family, and it was determined that Gates and Moody are related and had children from an incestuous relationship, Lewis said. Lewis said Gates was not Moody’s custodial parent during her childhood, having served stints in prison while she was growing up. Court records show at least one of those prison terms was for a felony conviction of driving with a suspended license. However, Gates and Moody reconnected in recent years and started the alleged relationship, Lewis said.
Oregon State law defines incest as when a person marries or engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another whom the person knows to be related to them, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either whole or half-blood. Incest is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and $125,000 in fines.
[...] In Oregon, the FBI’s website doesn’t include incest crime rate data for Eugene, Springfield and Lane County, but the city of Bend had one of the higher rates of 10.33 reported cases of incest per 100,000 people in 2010-11. Bend has a population of around 80,000 people. The most common alleged relationship there was between siblings. In Sutherlin, with a population of around 7,700, the reported crime rate for incest was 12.67 per 100,000. Those relationships also were most commonly between siblings, and the average age was 18.
It's not presented what percentage of these prosecutions were for consensual relationships. I agree with FME: "So now the authorities are traumatizing [this couple's] children. Why? [...] And notice this goes back eight months or so. You'd think the police would have let it go, rather than following them for eight months and into another jurisdiction."

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