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Jail for incest man justified - court

Published: 12 Apr 2012 12:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2012 15:26 GMT+02:00

Judges said on Thursday that the German courts could continue to punish those convicted of incest without injuring his rights to a “private and family life.”

The man in question, Patrick Stübing, appealed all the way through the German courts saying the repeated jail sentences, which he received for his continued sexual relationship with his sister, were unfair.

He and his sister Susan, from near Leipzig, grew up apart after he was given up for adoption aged four - before she was even born.

He had been badly abused by their alcoholic father while she struggled with school and has received significant help from social services.

She was 17, he 25, when he returned and moved into to the family home in 2000. Six months later their mother died, leaving the pair together.

Within five years they had four children, two of whom were disabled. Patrick was locked up as a result several times, most recently leaving prison in 2009.

They are no longer a couple – at least in part because of the legal action against them, his lawyer Endrick Wilhelm told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Thursday.

The German anti-incest law did “not protect the family, rather destroyed a family,” he said.

But German officials were entitled to use their discretion, the European court ruled, as

there was no consensus between Council of Europe member states on the question of whether consensual sex between adults could constitute a crime.

"Furthermore, the German courts had carefully weighed the arguments when convicting the applicant," said a statement from the court.

Three of the four children live with foster families, while the youngest daughter lives with Susan.

The Local/DPA/AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:20 April 12, 2012 by Big L
And the sister is not guilty of incest I guess?
16:06 April 12, 2012 by Sayer
She was 17, yes? Here's what I uncovered...The age of consent in Germany is 14, as long as a person over the age of 21 does not exploit a 14­15 year-old person's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination, in which case a conviction of an individual over the age of 21 requires a complaint from the younger individual; being over 21 and engaging in sexual relations with a minor of that age does not constitute an offense in and of itself. Otherwise the age of consent is 14, although provisions protecting minors against coercion apply until the age of 18 (under section Section 182(1) it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with a person under 18 "by taking advantage of an exploitative situation." See Wiki for the rest.

In this instance, and if this information is correct, the court is in error, regardless of what one's opinion of the behavior is. Unless to protect the defenseless the law has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
17:30 April 12, 2012 by BobbyDigital
@Sayer- He wasn't jailed for banging a minor, he was jailed for banging his sister. Uncover that law.
17:35 April 12, 2012 by The-ex-pat
This is a long running story of many chapters. I have only one question, how come only he has served any prison time since this was uncovered??
21:12 April 12, 2012 by ovalle3.14
He banged his sister. She banged her brother. How come there's only one being put to trial?
23:54 April 12, 2012 by slawek
I don't know anything about this couple. But their decision to have children together shows somehow a lack of intelligence. They certainly both need a legal guardian and forced birth control, but certainly not a jail sentence.
00:16 April 13, 2012 by franconia
@ Sayer, Yahoo, are you from the Ozarks???
10:52 April 13, 2012 by raandy
This couples plight of incest has been around for a few years.

It is concerning, and wrong.

They should have moved away out of the camera and news when they were first were discovered, instead of insisting there is nothing wrong with incest and having children that will pay a heavy price for their indiscretions.
02:47 April 14, 2012 by yuri_nahl
Lawyer fest. Your great nation is in danger of the slippery slope of too many coppers and lawyers.
16:27 April 14, 2012 by willowsdad
The incest taboo has its origin in the greatly increased possibility of defects in the children of such unions. If they really wanted to pursue their relationship, they should have gotten sterilized so nothing like that could happen.
23:36 April 14, 2012 by Sayer
This discussion is about law. If, as we are supposed to believe, justice is blind, it is irrelevant who "did" whom. The law is the law, regardless of their relationship, as each person is an individual. It could be the Virgin Mary, and the case would be the same.

I find incest abhorrent, however, my point is that the law in question is poorly written, and even more fumblingly enforced. If German national law cannot effectively deal with this, why is a non-elected court in a different country making a ruling? For me this is an issue of preserving national control over a country's judicial integrity. And protecting its children.
05:14 April 15, 2012 by Inquisitor
In German law, obviously only males can be charged and convicted for incest. Regrettably, stupidity is not a crime! The real crime is the fact that they had children, who are obviously disabled, as would be expected. They have chosen to inflict their stupidity on a future generation. We should not be worried about their sexual relationship, so much as their stupidity in having children in an age where both birth control and abortion are freely available. The other crime is that German law did not see fit to charge BOTH of them. In effect the German courts are guilty of gender discrimination in the administration of justice which I believe IS illegal.
09:18 April 17, 2012 by DoubleDTown
it's not directly on point, but also of interest, I believe the sister in this pair fathered a child with another man when her brother once had a 10 month or so imprisonment. that says something too about the great decision-making capabilities of this pair.
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