Incest remains a crime in Germany, court rules

14th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

A man who has fathered four children by his sister lost his bid to have incest struck off the German penal code.

Karlsruhe, Germany -- A man who has fathered four children by his sister lost his bid Thursday to have incest struck off the German penal code.

The country's top court ruled that the law, which makes incest a punishable offense is in line with Germany's constitution.

The Federal Constitutional Court said the law was designed to guard families against the damaging effects of incest and protect the "weaker" partner in incestuous relationships.

The court also took into consideration that children born from relationships between brothers and sisters had a greater risk of suffering genetic effects, the judges said in their 7-1 ruling.

The case was brought by Patrick S, 31, who has four daughters with sister, Susan, two of whom are handicapped.

The couple are seeking a declaration that brothers and sisters have a right to sexual relations with one another.

S earlier received a suspended jail term for incest, then served a 25-month actual jail term and now faces a 30-month sentence because he refuses to end the relationship. The sister has received a first conviction of incest and was placed on probation for one year.

The brother and sister have posed in the German media for romantic photos together and some Berlin politicians have supported them, contending that incest might be immoral but should not be punished by law.

The couple did not grow up together, but first met in 2000 when Patrick S, who had been adopted as a baby, looked up his birth mother and first met his sister.

The relationship began when the sister was 16. Under German law, incest is only punishable after the age of 18.

German media reports said S began caring for his sister when she was orphaned by the death of their widowed mother at 50. Intimacy quickly followed. They now have four daughters who are aged between 6 years and 34 months.

The sister has also had a child by another man whom she met while Patrick S was in jail.

DPA with Expatica

0 Comments To This Article