Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

Incest in the criminal law context refers to a sexual relationship between individuals who are closely related, such as between siblings, half-siblings, parents and children, or other blood relatives.

Incest is considered a criminal offense in most jurisdictions and can carry severe legal penalties, including imprisonment and/or fines. The exact penalties and definitions of incest vary by jurisdiction.

Incest is considered a serious crime because it is often associated with the abuse of power and exploitation of vulnerable individuals, such as children or young adults. Additionally, incest can result in physical and mental health problems for any resulting children, such as genetic disorders or increased risk of illness.

Incest cases can be complex and challenging to prosecute, often involving close familial relationships and complicated emotional dynamics. Victims of incest may face stigma and shame in coming forward, and perpetrators of incest may use their position of authority or emotional manipulation to prevent disclosure.

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Last Modified: 03/06/2023


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