Columbia PoliSci Prof Charged with Incest
Columbia political science professor David Epstein has been charged with a 3-year incestuous relationship with his adult daughter.
Via the the Columbia Spectator: Professor David Epstein charged with incest with his daughter:
Political science professor David Epstein, 46, was charged Thursday with having a sexual relationship with his daughter, 24.
According to the New York Daily News, Epstein faces up to four years in prison is convicted. And, not to mention, his career is now over, one would think. Indeed, his lawyer may be trying the following, but one suspects that the tense should be changed to past (from the Spectator article):
“David is a respected member of the Columbia University and national academic communities, and we think he deserves privacy and respect while the investigators are investigating. We are asking people to remember that these allegations are nothing more than allegations,” he said.
While I believe in innocent until proven guilty and agree that people ought not be tried in the media, this strikes as the sort of situation where it is hard to get it wrong. We shall see, no doubt, but of the things that police might make up/be mistaken about, this doesn’t strike me as a likely one. In regards to the legal issues, Slate has the following: The law on “consensual” incest (reports state that the relationship was a 3-year, consensual one).
The Daily News piece also notes:
Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations. He also has blogged on The Huffington Post.
His name is familiar, although none of his work comes to mind.
And to make matters even more complicated for Columbia’s political science department, Epstein is married to the department’s Chair.
And pity poor Professor David Esptein, a law professor at Richmond University.
Of course, many have already seen this as an opportunity to attack Epstein’s politics or the Ivy League, or the academy in general. However, unless Democrats come to his defense or if Columbia let’s him keep his job, or if academics come out of the woodwork to defend him, this all hits me as cheap shots (not on Epstein, but on those affiliated with him).
Look, I don’t mind if one wants to engage in some schadenfreude at Epstein’s expense–he has made fun of Sarah Palin quitting her governorship, so fair game making fun of him for getting arrested. However, the crimes alleged against him have nothing to do with the Huffington Post, his partisan preferences, his career of choice, or where he teaches. I think that trying to make it such is unfair.