A mother and son from New Mexico are facing some serious jail time since it was revealed that the two were having an incestuous relationship.
Monica Mares, 36, and Caleb Peterson, 19, face up to 18 months behind bars if the couple is found guilty of incest later this year.
The two, who were estranged for almost two decades, are not denying their incestuous relationship. But they want to be allowed to be together and are even asking others to donate to their legal fund.
The couple says they have gone public with their affair in a bid to raise awareness of Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) relationship, which is defined as sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings or half-siblings.
“He is the love of my life and I don't want to lose him. My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us. Not courts, or jail, nothing,” Mares told the Daily Mail. “I have to be with him. When I get out of prison, I will move out of Clovis to a state that allows us to be together.”
Unfortunately for Mares, who is the mother of nine and said she would give up rights to see them if it meant she could be with Peterson, incest is a crime in all 50 U.S. states – although the penalties vary greatly from state to state.
The couple – who live separately and are legally banned from having contact – began their relationship about a year ago after the two tracked each other down via Facebook. Peterson, whose birth name is Carlos, was put up for adoption soon after the then 16-year-old Mares gave birth to him.
Mares and Peterson say that after they met up they developed feelings for each other and it wasn’t long until the relationship turned sexual.
“It felt like I met somebody new in my life and I fell in love with him,” Mares said. “At first I told him, "I'm sorry I don't know how you are going to react to this. I'm your mom and you're my son, but I'm falling in love with you."
She said he then told her the feelings were mutual.
“He was falling in love with his mom and I was falling in love with my son,” she added. “We talked about it and we took off to the park. I said, ‘Would you ever date your mom?’ And he said: ‘Would you ever date your son?’ And I said, ‘Honest truth yes, I would.’”
While the two were able to live in incestuous bliss for a while – staying in Mares’ mobile home with her two youngest children, an argument between the family and some neighbors eventually led to their relationship becoming public knowledge.
“Honestly I never thought we would get into trouble for our relationship. We were both consenting adults – when it comes down to it,” Peterson said. “She's adult. I'm an adult. I can make my own decisions. I never thought it would blow up into something like this.”