Sunday, February 15, 2009

Man Fathered Seven Children With His Half Sister

INDIANAPOLIS -- Authorities said a Fort Wayne man fathered seven children with his half-sister, who told investigators she was introduced to sex at a young age and thought it was normal, despite becoming pregnant the first time at age 14.

Donald Medsker, 46, was formally charged Thursday with seven felony counts of incest and one misdemeanor count of child solicitation. A judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf and allowed him to remain free on bail.

He was ordered to have no contact with his half-sister.

Investigators said the sexual relationship began sometime after Medsker obtained custody of the then-10-year-old girl in 1989 from an aunt with whom she had lived since her mother's death in 1982.

The now-30-year-old woman told police she initially was abused by Medsker's wife, and that he began having sex with her after the couple split up. Her first pregnancy occurred in 1992 or 1993, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit says Medsker hid the girl's pregnancy by making her drop out of school. The baby, a boy, was placed for adoption two weeks after his birth.

Investigators say Medsker impregnated her six more times, the last time in 2006 or 2007. One other child also was placed for adoption.

DNA tests show a "greater than 99.9 percent certainty" that five of the children were fathered by Medsker, the affidavit states. Tests are pending on the two children who were adopted.

Indiana law prohibits sexual intercourse between biologically related family members.

The woman, whom court documents identify only by her initials, is receiving counseling. Child welfare officials are involved in the case.

"We're working to ensure the safety of the children who were in the home," said Indiana Department of Child Services spokeswoman Ann Houseworth. She declined to discuss specifics or say where the five children are currently.

Officials with the Allen County prosecutor's office would not say how the investigation began. The woman told a Fort Wayne police officer she had not reported the allegations against Medsker sooner because she began having sex at an early age and "never knew that there was anything wrong with what was happening."

"She never had any reason to believe otherwise," detective Bridget Glaser wrote in the affidavit.

Robyn Niedzwiecki, a spokeswoman for the Allen County prosecutor, said Medsker has no attorney but will return to court March 5, at which time a judge could appoint one for him.

She declined to say whether additional charges could be filed against Medsker or others, including his former wife, saying the investigation was pending.

"I cannot discuss this case at all," she said.

The case is reminiscent of one last year out of Austria, where investigators say Josef Fritzl confessed to taking his daughter Elisabeth prisoner shortly after she turned 18, sexually abusing her and fathering seven children with her, including one whose body he allegedly tossed into a furnace after it died in infancy.

Man fathered 7 children with half-sister :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime

Related - 5 children in state custody in incest case The Indianapolis Star

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