A Mississippi judge has ordered a man to marry his own sister after a paternity test proved he was the father of her three children.
Travis Williams, 28, first denied he was the father of his sister’s three children aged 3, 5, and 8, but a paternity test ordered by the judge proved the contrary.
The defendant’s sister, Maribelle Williams, 24, who is also expecting another child in the next months, claims her brother never helped financially nor in any other way to raise her three children.
“I swear on my mother’s grave that I have never loved nor slept with another man in my entire life” Maribelle Williams, 24, told the judge.
“The defendant has negated his responsibilities as a father for too long and I’m a man who believes in second chances, and so I order the defendant to marry the plaintiff or face jail time,” judge Mason Banks said in court.
Although commonly practiced in the region, incest is illegal by law in the state of Mississippi but for cultural reasons, law enforcement has been lenient towards the practice and exceptions are fairly common.
“In the light of this situation, where the sake of three children are involved, and a fourth one is on the way, and after the defendant has accepted the plea deal offered by the court, all matters of incest, in this case, are null and void,” judge Mason Banks ordered.
Travis Williams, who has accepted the court’s plea deal, has two weeks to properly marry his sister, Maribelle Williams, and thus avoid a sentence of ten years in prison by doing so, insisted his attorney, Andrew Sullivan.
Judge Banks based his ruling on the 1903 Gordon vs Gordon case where a Mississippi man was forced to marry his own daughter with whom he had eleven children.