||02-06-2004 10:26 PM
Father & Daughter Jailed for Incest in Alabama
I know there are plenty of jokes about relatives marrying each other down here, especially in Alabama, the Carolinas and West Virginia. Well, it seems to have come true in a much closer relationship than I would have imagined. It seems that a father and his daughter, both of legal age and consentually, have been having marital and sexual relations for quite a while in Mobile County.
Such topics usually tend to get interesting down here; even on the national hot topic issue of "defense of marriage" legislation vs. homosexual marriage rights, a state legislator used a bizarre analogy in opposing a ban on homosexual marriage; specifically, State Representative Alvin Holmes, a Democrat from Montgomery, said, “Government has no business trying to regulate people’s lives. If a person wants to marry a mule the state should not be trying to prohibit that." Of course, this gives us Alabamans the risk of more jokes about our relations with farm animals. Thank you, Congressman, for your brilliant example.
A colleague of his brought up the topic of people with sex changes in yet another interesting comment: “I don’t think government should be getting into that," House Speaker Pro Tem Demetrius Newton, Democrat from Birmingham, said. “With all these sex change operations, how do we decide what is a man and what is a woman?"
So back to this topic of incest, what does everyone think about consensual adult relatives, even parents and their children, getting married and having such relations? The article on the specific Mobile case from the MOBILE REGISTER is below:
Incestuous couple locked up
Carroll Ferdinandsen and his daughter, Alice, discovered together at motel despite judge's order
By KAREN TOLKKINEN
A father and daughter who created headlines last year after marrying each other in Mobile County were arrested again this week after police caught them together at a Saraland motel.
A Mobile County Circuit judge voided the marriage in December and ordered Alice Ferdinandsen, 30, and her father, Carroll Ferdinandsen, 53, to maintain separate residences after they pleaded guilty to incest. They were released from jail Jan. 22. On Monday, they checked into the Bamboo Motel for two nights, according to a motel clerk.
Saraland police said a tipster told them Tuesday that the couple was at the motel. The department sent two officers.
"The lady opened the door and there they were together," said police Sgt. Steve Stafford. "She opened the door wide enough and they saw him, too."
They were charged with violating probation.
The couple's battered white Toyota pickup was still parked at the motel Wednesday afternoon. Long-stem silk red roses sat on the dashboard and a large Bible rested on the front seat.
Last May, the couple were married in Mobile County Probate Court. At the time, they were living in a run- down trailer home in Theodore. They were indicted in June and arrested in July on incest charges, as well as charges of cruelty to animals and forgery.
It's not the first time the Ferdinandsens have been accused of having an improper relationship.
In 1989, Carroll Ferdinandsen pleaded guilty to second-degree rape in Mobile County Circuit Court.
"Accused of raping Alice," says a note in his case file compiled by his attorney, Claude Patton, said.
Alice Ferdinandsen was 16 at the time.
Ferdinandsen spent almost a year in jail.
Patton said Carroll Ferdinandsen is mentally ill and that he was taking "nerve pills" that he ran out of while incarcerated.
"They need to leave that poor old man alone," Patton said. "He needs mental health treatment. He cannot read. He cannot write. He cannot drive."
Circuit Judge John Lockett ordered Carroll Ferdinandsen to get mental health treatment, according to court records. It was unclear Wednesday whether he had done so.
Ferdinandsen lost his disability benefits while he was incarcerated, Patton said.
Alice Ferdinandsen's attorney, Deborah McGowin, could not be reached for comment.
In January, when Alice Ferdinandsen was sentenced, Lockett told her that if her probation team thought necessary, he would order mental health treatment for her.
Incestuous relationships are banned in all states because of concerns about child abuse and genetic mutations.
Katherine Ferdinandsen, married to Carroll Ferdinandsen's estranged son, David, said she believes the couple ought to spend more time locked up.
"They only got six months," she said. "You get more than six months for a traffic ticket around here."