First it was Charles Karel Bouley, who wished for the death of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher. Than it was Carol Anne Berger, who committed suicide after brutally stabbing her lesbian lover to death. Today we have David Epstein, a Columbia University political science professor and Huffington Post contributor who has been arrested for have a three-year incestuous relationship with his daughter. This from Melissa Grace at the New York Daily News. (Hat-tip to Blazing Cat Fur, American Power Blog and five feet of fury)
A popular Columbia professor was charged Thursday with incest – accused of a sick sex relationship with a female relative, prosecutors said.
Political science Prof. David Epstein, 46, bedded the young woman over a three-year period ending last year, according to court papers.
He was arraigned before a Manhattan judge on a single felony incest count.
“We ask that everyone remember that he is innocent until proven otherwise and that these allegations are nothing more than allegations,” said Epstein’s defense lawyer Matthew Galluzzo.
University spokesman Robert Hornsby said that Epstein “is now on administrative leave and will not be teaching students.”
Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations. He also has blogged on The Huffington Post.
Sources said the victim was over 18 when the relationship began in 2006 and that the two often exchanged twisted text messages.
Epstein faces up to four years behind bars if convicted.
He was released on his own recognizance.
The Huffington Post itself has an article up concerning his arrest, but the comments are what you really want to read. They are divided into two groups, the apologists who feel that there is something wrong with society for not accepting their “relationship,” and the clearer thinking individuals who are downright disgusted at this development. Here are examples of both.
jackbutler5555 – Many here have speculated as to why the incest laws — prohibiting consensual sex between adults — exist. The wording of the law offers no clue as to why the law was passed.
– Some of our social taboos become laws, like incest — even when it involves consenting adults engaging in activities that are none of our business.
Deaninphilly – Repeating it over and over does not make it true.
The only evidence we have is from the police and they say consensual. Since apparently you disagree you should contact the police and let them know you are now taking over the investigation.
Until you actually have first hand knowledge of anything, you really can’t state for a fact it is abuse.
Aidan Maslow – Two consenting adults, regardless of relation, should have the right to do whatever they want in the bedroom, as long as no one is harmed against their will. This is an outdated standard that should be done away with. Morality should NOT be legislated.
Mary Daniel – He was likely grooming her since childhood. What are the chances a healthy 21-year-old girl would suddenly look at her father and say, “Wow, what I’ve been looking for was right here all along!”?
DanSc – Everyone is saying that when she turned 18 she grew out of being a child and became a grown woman. Only problem there is that she’ll never outgrow being a daughter, and he’ll never be able to suspend being a father. That is a real, patriarchal power structure that if abused keeps this relationship from being consensual.
sue denim – I can’t believe the posts here that think having sex with one’s daughter is okay as long as it is consensual. Such a relationship can never be consensual because of the power imbalance. Furthermore, it’s very likely that there was ongoing abuse to the child before she ever “consented” to anything with Daddy. The daughter obviously has some serious emotional/psychological problems, which her father is exploiting. And yes, incest needs to be treated as a crime, something that we do not do in a civil society. Got it, sickos?
It is downright appalling see that apologists are justifying this perversion. Mary Daniel makes a very good point in that Epstein may have been grooming his daughter for years before engaging in a sexual relationship with her. If this does come out at trial, hopefully additional charges will be laid against him for child abuse. These weren’t two consenting adults, it was a father taking advantage of a daughter. Incest is not only criminal but immoral, and I would hope that the judge in this case hands down the harshest sentence allowable under the law.
The next issue that should be raised is why did this relationship last as long as it did? The Huffington Post should start screening contributors, especially after Bouley and Berger, since three-year incestuous relationship is something which shouldn’t have gone unnoticed. Didn’t Epstein’s colleagues notice something off about him? What about his fellow professors at Columbia University? Surely there are those within the political science department who would have known something about this. I am pretty sure I am not the only one looking for the answers to these questions.
In any event, NewsBusters.org’s Noel Sheppard is following this story closely. Whatever new development do come up, I am sure Sheppard will have them covered. If I do find anything else, I will update his post.