Now that troubled Wellington polo mogul John Goodman‘s adoption of his 42-year-old girlfriend as his daughter ”for estate planning” is making national news (check out yours truly on CNN’s Headline News about 6:30 p.m.), here’s the burning question:
When Goodman is having sex with girlfriend-turned-daughter Heather Hutchins, is that incest?
“Goodman sleeping with that woman is not illegal,” said criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Paula Russell. “It’s just extremely creepy.”
The general definition of incest included in the Florida Statutes is sex between blood relatives and does not mention adoptions:
“826.04 Incest.—Whoever knowingly marries or has sexual intercourse with a person to whom he or she is related by lineal consanguinity, or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece, commits incest, which constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. “Sexual intercourse” is the penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ, however slight; emission of semen is not required. History.—s. 47, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298; s. 1281, ch. 97-102.”
Goodman is scheduled to go to trial in March for the 2010 car crash that cost the life of 24-year-old Scott Wilson. Authorities say the multimillionaire founder of International Polo Club Palm Beach, who faces 20 years behind bars, was drunk when he crashed his Bentley into Wilson’s car at a dark intersection in Wellington.
Goodman is also being sued by Wilson’s family, and lawyers have speculated his adoption of Huchins may help him shield assets from the Wilsons, if he were to lose the case.
Added Michelle Suskauer, another local defense attorney and WPTV-Channel 5 legal consultant: “Even if it were illegal for them to have sex, no one in their right mind would prosecute. There’s a difference between having sex with your 13-year-old adopted daughter, and a 42-year-old.”