A German court sentenced a man who had four children by his younger sister to 2-1/2 years in prison for incest on Thursday.
The pair, identified by German media as 28-year-old Patrick S. and 21-year-old Susan K., grew up separately, spending periods with foster parents and did not meet until 2000.
The court ordered Susan K. to be placed into the care of social services. Prosecutors had not sought a prison sentence for her because she had learning difficulties.
The children — born in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005, according to newspapers — were also put into care.
The siblings began living together as a couple in 2001 and continued their relationship despite warnings from the authorities until Patrick S. was sentenced to 11 months in prison for incest in 2004.
Incest is a criminal offense in Germany.
Judge Heidrun Gaasenbeek said the two had grown up in tragic circumstances but the fact that they had continued their sexual relationship in defiance of the authorities made the offense more serious.
Defense lawyer Joachim Froemling said he might appeal to the constitutional court, calling the offense of incest a “historical relic” as outdated as previous laws against adultery and homosexuality.