Skip to content
Name: People v. McEvoy
Case #: A132360
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/15/2013

Criminalizing incest between consenting adults does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Appellant was charged with various sex offenses. At trial, he presented evidence that the sexual activity between him and his adult sister was consensual. The jury acquitted him of the forcible sex offenses but convicted him of incest and simple assault. The appellate court rejected appellant’s contention that under the reasoning of Lawrence v. Texas (2003) 539 U.S. 558, he had a due process right to consensual sex acts with a relative. In Lawrence, the Supreme Court held that a Texas statute forbidding private conduct by consenting adults was invalid as it furthered no legitimate state interest that could justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual. Here, California’s interests in protecting the integrity of the family and protecting against inbreeding are sufficiently important to justify the prohibition against incest, as contained in Penal Code section 285.