Father had 8 babies with his daughter

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The Independent Online

in Washington

Lorie Williams, a 27-year-old woman from rural Michigan, has testified in court that during a 16-year sexual relationship with her father, Walter Williams, she gave birth to eight children.

Family counsellors and incest therapists who thought they had become emotionally inured to the sexual perversions America yields have confessed to being dumbstruck by her allegations. No less astonishing is that while Mr Williams, who is 55, has escaped the law scot-free, his daughter could go to jail: she is scheduled to face trial in October on two charges of child abuse.

The case came to light last July when Ms Williams and her father were arrested at their home on charges arising from the severe malnutrition of one of their children, a one-year-old girl. Police also investigated the deaths of two of their children in infancy but for lack of evidence brought no charges.

Mr Williams admitted one charge of attempted child abuse and was released on 9 May.

Ms Williams, who is undergoing intensive counselling, is reported to have said in court that her father began raping her on a regular basis when she was 11. Her mother and her brothers and sisters left home when she was 15, she said, whereupon she and her father began a new a life as a couple, bearing and bringing up children.

Despite Ms Williams's staggering evidence the law is powerless to act against her father. The statute of limitations has expired on his alleged abuse of his daughter when she was a child. And incest between adults is not illegal in Michigan.

Ms Williams is living alone as she awaits her next court appearance. Her six children are in foster care and she visits them regularly.