A mother and son who pleaded guilty to incest have vowed to continue their relationship, despite a court ruling ordering them to have no contact with one another.
Monica Mares, 37, and her son Caleb Peterson, 20, both of Clovis, a town of around 40,000 people near the New Mexico-Texas border, were charged with the offence last year after a neighbour reported them to the police.
As the case was prepared for trial, the duo both opted to accept plea agreements in which they will spend a year and a half under supervised probation, followed by 18 months of unsupervised probation, during which time they are prohibited from contacting one another, NBC reported.
But following the ruling last week, Mares, a mother-of-nine, told the MailOnline: “He is the love of my life and I don’t want to lose him. Nothing can come between us, not courts, or jail. Nothing.
“I have to be with him.”
Peterson, who was given up for adoption by his mother shortly after his birth when she was 16, told the online paper he was the first to make a move, explaining: “We were hanging out just talking and I looked at her and she looked at me and I kissed her.
“It was a real kiss it had feelings behind it, there was a spark that ever since then it stayed.”
According to records, Peterson moved into Mares’ home shortly after the pair reunited via Facebook when he was 18.
The relationship became romantic and sexual thereafter, authorities said.
In August, the pair went public with their love, claiming they wanted to raise awareness of Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) relationships.
A criminal complaint cited by the Associated Press says that Peterson acknowledged the relationship at the time of the arrest, saying his mother had been in a series of abusive relationships with men.
“Caleb felt if he was there to take care of her, she would not have to deal with abusive men anymore and he would take care of the household and his younger brothers,” the complaint said.
Incest is a felony offence which can carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Genetic sexual attraction (GSA) is sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings or half-siblings, a parent and offspring, or first and second cousins, who first meet as adults. Relatives who fail to form the family bonds which create a natural taboo around sexual bonding, are said to be at risk of interpreting intense familiarity as sexual attraction. The term GSA was coined in the US in the late 1980s by Barbara Gonyo, the founder of Truth Seekers In Adoption, a Chicago-based support group for adoptees and their new-found relatives. Gonyo reported feeling overwhelmingly attracted to her own estranged son upon meeting him later in life. However, her son’s unresponsiveness towards her attraction meant she never acted on it. According to The Genetic Sexual Attraction Forum, some studies of GSA suggest that feelings of more than just a familiar level occur in up to 50% of all post adoption reunions.