A New Jersey man convicted of having an incestuous relationship with his 17-year-old daughter and sentenced to 5 years in prison has asked the judge to let him have conjugal visits from his daughter during his sentence.
James O’Keefe, 54, whose daughter will turn 18 in December asked if his daughter would be allowed to visit him during conjugal visits.
Upon the judge’s refusal, O’Keefe’s attorney reiterated to the judge that consensual incest between people 18 years old or more is not a criminal offense in the state of New Jersey and that his client should be lawfully granted conjugal visits.
“I’ve raised her since she was a little girl and she is the most precious thing in my life. We have much affection for each other” James O’Keefe told judge Anthony Meyer, visibly emotional.
“My client and his daughter have both shown their interest in pursuing their love affair in a few months when she will reach legal age as consensual incest between people 18 years old or more is perfectly legal in the state of New Jersey,” James O’Keefe’s lawyer said in court.
Although the judge admitted doubts that the relationship may have started much earlier, the daughter possibly being as young as 13 at the time according to one family member’s testimony, the judge eventually felt compelled to grant the request.
“I am morally appalled by the defendant’s request, but being the state of New Jersey law at this moment upon this particular matter, there is no legal ground on which I could refuse this request,” Judge Anthony Meyer finally conceded.
“I love my daughter more than anything in the world. I promise to take good care of her” James O’Keefe told the judge in tears, visibly grateful.
Incest is prohibited in the state of New Jersey when the actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the 3rd degree and the victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old.
Penalties can amount to up to 18 months in jail for 4th degree criminal sexual contact and to at least 15 years without parole in the case of 2nd degree sexual assault.