A mother and son in Clovis, New Mexico, face charges of incest after claiming they're madly in love and in a relationship.
Monica Mares and her son, Caleb Peterson, both face up to 18 months in prison if found guilty of incest. The couple went public to raise awareness about Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA).
GSA is a sexual attraction between close relatives who meet as adults -- something 36-year-old Mares and her 19-year-old son experienced firsthand.
“He is the love of my life and I don't want to lose him. My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us; not courts, or jail, nothing,” she said. “I have to be with him. When I get out of prison I will move out of Clovis to a state that allows us to be together.”
Though incest is illegal nationwide, the laws surrounding it vary from state to state.
The two currently live separately in Clovis, and first began their love affair at the end of 2015. Mares was 16 years old when she gave birth to Peterson and gave him up for adoption.
They met 18 years later when they got in touch through Facebook and she picked him up at his adoptive father’s house. They soon began developing romantic feelings for one another and quickly began a sexual relationship.
“The first time I met my son in person I was so happy and excited I gave him a big hug,” Mares told the Daily Mail.
I went to go pick him up at his dad's house in Texas. He gave me a call and asked me to pick him up, I got butterflies in my stomach. I met him outside and I knew it was him when he came towards me. He was crying and he gave me a hug. It was almost love at first sight but first it was mother love. He gave me a mother hug. He came home in the truck and came to live with me and we were both happy as mother and son.
Mares said the relationship at first felt different because she didn’t raise Caleb.
“'It felt like I met somebody new in my life and I fell in love with him,” she said. “At first I told him, ‘I’m sorry I don't know how you are going to react to this. I'm your mom and you're my son, but I'm falling in love with you.’”
Caleb admitted his feelings back to Mares and the two began to discuss a potential relationship. They ultimately decided to be together.
Mares said she understands the risks that are involved with dating her son, which include losing her children. She said, however, that the risks were worth it. The couple’s relationship began normally, with Mares’ children taking a liking to Caleb.
A neighbor eventually confronted them about their romantic involvement and contacted police, KOB-TV reported. They were ultimately arrested after admitting to a sexual relationship.
“It is every bit worth it,” Mares said. “If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him. It hurts he is far away. It hurts really bad. I wish I could see him, talk to him, but I can't risk it.”