A 28-year-old West Virginia man and his 21-year-old stepdaughter have been charged with incest, although they aren’t blood relatives and both are above the age of legal consent.
The Nicholas County sheriff said Kelcey Nicholas had married the mother of Lataura Jarrett five years ago, and the younger woman referred to him as her father.
County authorities told The Charleston Gazette that state law defines a daughter as the natural offspring of a person’s husband or wife, and Nicholas is still married to Jarrett’s mother.
Authorities said they discovered the pair engaged in intercourse after going to Nicholas’ home Sept. 19 to arrest him for violating the terms of his home confinement in an unrelated case.
A sheriff’s deputy said he researched state law and consulted the county prosecutor before charging Nicholas and Jarrett under the incest statute.
Jarrett has not lived with Nicholas or her mother as an adult, authorities said, and she has been married.
Nicholas and Jarrett were each charged with seven counts of incest, a felony that carries a possible 5- to 15-year prison term.
Nicholas remains jailed on $70,000 bond, while Jarrett was released on bond.