The woman, Patricia Spann, reportedly lost custody of daughter Misty (as well as two other children) when they were young and did not return into contact with them until two years ago. Spann also married one of her sons in 2008 and annulled the marriage two years later.
Now, both Spann and 25-year-old daughter Misty have been arrested on charges of incest, which is a felony that carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison. The Associated Press reported that the woman believed the marriage was acceptable because her name wasn't on her daughter's birth certificate.
Genetic Sexual Attraction is the term used to describe these encounters—feelings of intense sexual and emotional desire—after biological parents are reunited with their children after an extended absence in the other's life. In one study published by the Guardian, experts reported that these feelings can occur in over half of cases where parents are reunited with their children later in life.
One of these women, Natasha Rose Chenier, wrote a moving essay for Jezebel about the beginning of her sexual relationship with her father. She began:
My father and I often talked on the phone between visits. We had so much in common; we connected immediately. It seemed that everything he loved, I loved, and vice versa. When I first met him in person I noticed that we even had the same posture, the same way of carrying ourselves in the world. I was intoxicated by our likeness, which I never shared with my mother, or with any siblings (I am an only child). All of a sudden I had company. It was that simple. I had a dream parent, and I was over the moon.
There were a lot of red flags over the course of those two years, moments I’m only now able to recognize as such.
She later wrote that it felt like "a dark spell that had been cast over" her.