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Judge Dismisses Incest Charge Against Siblings

February 13, 1996

DADE CITY, Fla. (AP) _ A judge threw out incest charges Tuesday against a brother and sister suspected of having nine children together, ruling there was no evidence the couple had sex in his county.

The couple, whose children range in age from 18 months to 22 years, had been charged with incest in the case of their youngest child. The statute of limitations had run out on the other children.

Circuit Judge Wayne Cobb agreed with the defense that there was no evidence the child was conceived in Pasco County. He dismissed the case without sending it to the jury, which had heard a half-day of evidence.

``That’s the judge’s decision and we respect his decision,″ prosecutor Manny Garcia said.

Testimony showed the couple were living in Pasco County as of Dec. 6, 1993. Their youngest child was born Aug. 22, 1994.

The couple _ he is 66, his sister 44 _ were arrested March 22 after DNA tests showed that the girl was theirs.

The state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services began investigating the family after receiving a complaint that the father had molested one of his children. That charge was not substantiated, but the report led to the investigation of the couple’s relationship.

The man has written rambling letters to the court and to the media, detailing how a prism he is building will allow him to ward of hurricanes, stop the fighting in Bosnia and do away with the need for HRS.

That last ability, he said last year, led to the incest charge.

``If I can finish the prism, you won’t need HRS,″ he said. ``What I’m doing jeopardizes their wages and their purpose.″

Court records show the children have IQs ranging from 52 to 86. An IQ of 80 is the threshold for declaring a person learning disabled.

HRS has ordered the father to stay away from the children. That order remained in effect after the charges were dismissed.

``Gimme a couple of days to get over this, to get my life together,″ he said. ``Nothing’s changed.″