A father and daughter’s paths have crossed in a way that has lead them to legal trouble.
In 1998, then-22-year-old Steven Walter Pladl and his now estranged ex-wife, who was 17 at the time, decided to give Katie Rose Pladl up for an out-of-state adoption. After 18 years had gone by, the daughter used social media to find her biological parents, reports WNCN. They had two other children — two more daughters — and lived just west of Richmond, Virginia.
Katie moved to their home in August 2016, which is when the trouble reportedly began.
Steven, who is now 42, reportedly began to sleep on the floor of 20-year-old Katie’s room. Tensions arose, and Steven and his wife legally separated in November of that year.
Months after moving out, the biological mother reportedly discovered in the diary of one of her daughters that Katie was pregnant and Steven was the father. Steven also reportedly instructed the other daughters to refer to Katie as their stepmother.
When confronted, Steven admitted to impregnating his daughter and told his ex-wife that they had plans to get married, according to police warrants.
As an investigation formed in 2017, Steven and Katie moved to Wake County, North Carolina. They were eventually found and arrested last month after police in Henrico County, Virginia, issued warrants for their arrest. Police say they found a baby boy with the pair, and that he was born in September 2017.
The pair now face charges of incest with an adult, adultery and contributing to delinquency, according to reports.
Steven has since been released on his $1 million bond. Katie, who was issued the same amount, remains in jail. Both await extradition to Virginia.
The ex-wife has since accused Steven of manipulating their eldest daughter. She also previously took out a protective order to remove her other two daughters from the home.
“This is a pretty unique set of facts, I would say,” explained Todd Stone, a legal analyst for CBS 6. “It’s a class five felony if that occurs in Virginia, and that means you can get up to 10 years in prison.”
“A judge will have an opportunity to decide whether this statute makes this conduct illegal because of moral and religious ideas or science and increased chance of birth defects,” Stone added, saying the decision ultimately lies with the judge. “What should the penalty really be for people who are both adults and consenting to a sexual relationship even though it’s illegal in Virginia and most other places?”
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