Columbia Prof. David Epstein Charged with Incest with Daughter

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A disturbing story out of New York City, where a Columbia University professor is accused of having a sexual relationship with his own daughter. David Epstein was arraigned on Thursday on one count of incest in the third degree. He was released on his own recognizance.

According to police, the relationship with the 24-year-old woman went on for three years between 2006 and 2009, and appears to have been consensual.

University spokesman Robert Hornsby said Epstein is now on administrative leave and is no longer teaching students.

His defense attorney, Matthew Galluzzo, is asking that people give Epstein "the benefit of the doubt."

“David is a respected member of the Columbia University and national academic communities, and we think he deserves privacy and respect while the investigators are investigating. We are asking people to remember that these allegations are nothing more than allegations,” he said.

By all accounts, Epstein was a popular and well-liked teacher. He was married to another lecturer at the university, Sharyn O'Halloran, but the pair reportedly divorced recently.

Epstein faces up to four years in prison if convicted.