A judge in Sydney, Australia, recently claimed that incest may no longer be seen as “taboo” because of the availability of birth control and abortion.
“A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available,' not having [a] sexual partner," said District Court Judge Garry Neilson, notes the Sydney Morning Herald.
According to The Telegraph, Judge Neilson made his shocking comments during the trial of an unidentified 58-year-old man who "pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his sister when she was 10 or 11 years old in 1973 or 1974 but has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to sex they had in 1981, when she was 18 and he was 26."
Police recorded a 2011 phone call between the man and his siblings in which he allegedly admitted to having sex with his sister when she was a "kid."
Judge Neilson said incest was only a crime because of the deformities of children born from family members, but added "even that falls away to an extent [because] there is such ease of contraception and readily access to abortion."
Judge Neilson then applied his logic to the criminal case.
“By that stage [in 1981] they are both mature adults. The complainant has been sexually awoken, shall we say, by having two relationships with men and she had become ‘free’ when the second relationship broke down,” Judge Neilson added.
Judge Neilson noted that laws against gay relationships had also fallen away.
“If this was the 50s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone,” Judge Neilson stated.
Prosecutor Sally Dowling is now trying to get the case moved to another judge.
“These remarks in my submission are completely disgraceful,” Dowling stated. "The reference to abortion is particularly repellent.”
Dr. Cathy Kezelman, president of Adults Surviving Child Abuse, said in a statement: "To equate homosexuality, incest and the crime of child sexual assault is as ill-informed as it is outrageous. For it to be paraded by a Judge in Australia in 2014 during the time of the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse, or at any time, is beyond belief."
Sources: Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph (Image Credit: StockMonkeys.com)