Volume 47, Issue 5 (September 2002)
A Father Marries His Daughters: A Case of Incestuous Polygamy
Polygamy is a risk factor for incest. This case report of incest and polygamy portrays the dynamics that dominated this family's identity. The father indoctrinated and groomed his biological daughter and stepdaughter for sexual gratification in a cult-like atmosphere, and secretly married both of them. He justified his acts to the family members under the guise of religion, but he later denied allegations of polygamy and sexual contact with his daughters when confronted by the authorities. Ultimately, his parental rights were terminated in family court. The authors interviewed the primary victim and reviewed extensive evidence, including videotapes of the victims talking with detectives and also privately amongst each other. Videotape dialogue excerpts capture how these young girls individually coped with the sexual abuse and responded to becoming child wives in a polygamous family. Criminal charges ultimately were not pursued because the key witness refused to testify against her biological father.