Northern Kentucky state rep files bill to close incest loophole

The bill is expected to pass before the end of the current legislative session.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:05 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - A Kentucky state representative is pushing to change the commonwealth’s incest laws.

Ed Massey (R-Hebron) filed a bill Monday after Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders noticed Kentucky’s current laws criminalize nieces and nephews performing sexual acts on their aunts and uncles but not the other way around.

“Incest is a lot more prevalent than people think,” Sanders said. “The vast majority of children that are molested are molested by someone they know, and oftentimes, that’s a relative.”

Kentucky’s incest statute goes back many years, the prosecutor says. He believes its original drafters simply made a mistake.

“Kentucky managed to write an incest statute that made it illegal for nieces and nephews to have sexual relations with their aunts and uncles but legal to have sexual relations with their nieces and nephews, and that just defies logic and makes no sense,” Sanders said.

The new bill would make both categories of sexual acts illegal.

“This is silly that we’ve let this drag on as long as it has,” Sanders said. “There’s an obvious drafting error. We need to protect the children and not the adults.”

That doesn’t mean sex offenders were getting away with molesting family members. The prosecutor says they were still charged with rape and other sexual crimes, just not incest.

The new bill will allow incest charges to be included in future incidents.

Sanders expects the bill to pass before the end of the current legislative session.

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