CHARLESTON, W.Va. (CBS DC) — A 28-year-old Mount Nebo man and his 21-year-old stepdaughter have been charged with incest despite the fact they are not blood relatives and are both above the legal age of consent.
The West Virginia pair — Kelcey Nicholas has been married to the mother of Lataura Jarrett for five years– were caught having intercourse on Sept. 19 when authorities said they went to Nicholas’ home to arrest him for violation of home confinement for an unrelated charge, the Charleston Gazette reports.
Nicholas County authorities cited an inclusive definition of “daughter” in West Virginia law that says a daughter is the natural daughter of a person’s husband or wife – and Nicholas is still married to Jarrett’s mother.
Sheriff David Hopkins told the Gazette-Mail that Jarrett had referred to Nicholas as her father, and it does not matter that they have no biological relation. Sheriff Hopkins said he researched state law before charging the two each with seven counts of incest – a felony that carries a possible punishment of between 5 and 15 years behind bars.
“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.”
Hopkins also told the Gazette-Mail that the state law’s definition of a daughter is written to include a person’s adoptive children, which is irrelevant in this case given that Nicholas didn’t adopt Jarrett after marrying her mother.
Nicholas is still in jail on $70,000 bail and Jarrett is free on bond. A trial date has not yet been set, but both will appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 3.