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Old 12-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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Professor arrested for having sex with his 24 year old daughter...

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A Columbia political science professor has been charged with having a sexual relationship with his 24-year-old daughter, the Columbia Daily Spectator reports.

David Epstein, 46, was charged Thursday with one count of third-degree incest. Police told the Spectator that the relationship appeared consensual.

Epstein is currently on administrative leave.

According to the New York Daily News, Epstein and the woman had a three-year sexual relationship and often exchanged "twisted text messages."

David Epstein Incest Charges: Columbia Professor Charged With Sleeping With Daughter


As creepy as it may be, should it be punishable by law? She was 21 when it apparently started...
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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I'm not even going to read it


but yeah, it should be illegal, a parent has undo? influence and should be helping offspring develop healthy relationships,
not ones that work to the parents longings and desires.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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Was she hot?
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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If the law doesn't specify anything about illegality of such a relationship, and they can prove it was fully consensual, then no, I don't see how they could be charged with it. And if they both wanted it, I guess that's for them to deal with, this would fall under the belief of "Consensual sex between adults is the business of those engaged in it and nobody else".

Still, though, in my personal opinion, ew.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:02 PM   #5
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but yeah, it should be illegal, a parent has undo? influence and should be helping offspring develop healthy relationships,
not ones that work to the parents longings and desires.
I agree, but how do we determine that she hasn't had healthy relationships prior to this? What if she was 40 and had several healthy relationships?

Do we legislate other incurrences of unhealthy relationships?
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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Do we legislate other incurrences of unhealthy relationships?
Yes. Sexual harassment in the workplace comes to mind.

Various professions regulate unhealthy relationships with punitive consequences - i.e. doctor/patient, teacher/student.

Those circumstances recognize the power imbalance in the relationship - and the potential for abuse of that power. On that basis, you can argue that when it comes to parent/child, there is no such thing as consent regardless of age.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:46 PM   #8
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Yes. Sexual harassment in the workplace comes to mind.
Yes, but this would fall into the category of "relationships" without consent.

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Various professions regulate unhealthy relationships with punitive consequences - i.e. doctor/patient, teacher/student.
Good examples, but these aren't legislated(that I know of) outside the confides of these businesses.

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Those circumstances recognize the power imbalance in the relationship - and the potential for abuse of that power. On that basis, you can argue that when it comes to parent/child, there is no such thing as consent regardless of age.
Well I tend to agree, though I'm sure there are instances where the power struggle can be the other way around as well, i.e. child seducing the parent.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:49 PM   #9
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though I'm sure there are instances where the power struggle can be the other way around as well, i.e. child seducing the parent.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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You don't think it could happen?
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:56 PM   #11
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I'm surprised this case has been as controversial as it has. I guess the issue is that the charge was incest, not rape, yet only the father was charged, which creates confusion for some people. In fact, it's not unheard of in the US for both the parent and the adult child to be charged with incest--I remember a case like that in, I think, Louisiana a few years back--but that's rare; usually only the parent is charged, for reasons AliEnvy indicated.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:11 PM   #12
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by AliEnvy View Post
Yes. Sexual harassment in the workplace comes to mind.

Various professions regulate unhealthy relationships with punitive consequences - i.e. doctor/patient, teacher/student.

Those circumstances recognize the power imbalance in the relationship - and the potential for abuse of that power. On that basis, you can argue that when it comes to parent/child, there is no such thing as consent regardless of age.
Exactly.

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Yes, but this would fall into the category of "relationships" without consent.
I don't follow.....?


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Well I tend to agree, though I'm sure there are instances where the power struggle can be the other way around as well, i.e. child seducing the parent.
Could be but that's not how sexual harassment is defined. It has more to do with the imbalance of power and authority than anyone seducing anyone else. In fact the college where I work prohibits relationships between professors and students, even if they are both consenting adults. From the administration's standpoint, that is always sexual harassment, even if neither of them agree. I'm not saying it's absolutely not possible for a professor and student to have a meaningful relationship but the rule is the rule, and according to HR that is sexual harassment (regardless of gender).
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:44 PM   #14
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I don't follow.....?
I just mean that sexual harassment doesn't have two consenting persons one side is not consenting therefore the harassment, this story is a little different.



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Could be but that's not how sexual harassment is defined. It has more to do with the imbalance of power and authority than anyone seducing anyone else. In fact the college where I work prohibits relationships between professors and students, even if they are both consenting adults. From the administration's standpoint, that is always sexual harassment, even if neither of them agree. I'm not saying it's absolutely not possible for a professor and student to have a meaningful relationship but the rule is the rule, and according to HR that is sexual harassment (regardless of gender).
Right but my point had to do with the parent/child relationship. Ali's post seemed to infer that the imbalance of power was always leaning towards the parent, but I've known of a story where the imbalance was definitely on the child's side.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:48 PM   #15
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But the responsibility lies with the parent simply because they are the parent. They are in the position of power (or supposed to be). It's not a matter of seduction but how the relationship is normally structured. A parent would hold authority over a child, a professor over a student, a boss over their team, etc.

Sexual harassment *can* and very often does have two consenting sides. It's broader than one person taking advantage of another sexually.
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