If you watch Game of Thrones, then you’re almost certainly already familiar with the incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jaime Lannister. While almost everyone will agree that a sister and brother maintaining a sexual relationship is more than a little gross, you might not know that it’s also illegal in California. Here’s what Jaime and Cersei should know if they were to move out of Westeros and into San Diego County.
Defense attorney Peter Liss understands that things can get complicated in life and that sometimes people can’t affect who they have relationships with. Even so, incest is illegal in the state of California not just because the public finds it creepy, but also because it can result in serious birth defects and because sociologists warn that it threatens family structures and the emotional well-being of children.
To some extent, all people are related to one another, but incest occurs when that relationship is close enough to potentially cause biological issues in children born from that relationship. In California, that includes parents and children, sisters and brothers (including half-siblings) and nieces/nephews with their aunts/uncles. It’s worth noting that first cousins are not included under this law. Any sexual relationship or marriage between persons that fit those categories can be charged as incest. If you have any questions about whether or not a particular relationship would qualify as incest, a San Diego criminal lawyer can help, but in the case of Cersei and Jaime, there really is no question.
When incest occurs between an adult and a minor, the minor is considered a victim and the adult can also be charged with statutory rape. In cases like the Lannisters though, both parties are considered at fault and both could face criminal charges. Depending on the specifics of the crime, a person could face between 16 months or 3 years imprisonment for incest. That is why anyone accused of sleeping with a close blood relative should contact a San Diego defense lawyer as soon as possible.
There are some defenses for this crime. For example, if the couple did not know they were related until after the fact, it would not be their fault. Additionally, if there was no proof the couple actually were involved in sexual acts, the prosecution could not prove their guilt. If one of the parties did not consent to the sexual act, he or she could also use this as a defense. Unfortunately for the Lannisters, the two willingly participated in a sexual relationship after being raised as brother and sister. While Jaime did rape Cersei at one point, most of their encounters were consensual. Additionally, the prosecution could prove that they were sexually involved by doing a DNA test on any of the couple’s children.
Incest is a sex crime in California and as such, anyone convicted of the crime will be required to register as a sex offender. That’s why anyone charged with incest (whether or not they are Lannisters) should contact a top San Diego sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free initial consultation with San Diego criminal defender Peter M. Liss, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.