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I met a half sibling, both in our 40's, he confessed he was in love with me 4 months later. I was extremely vulnerable and our connection was deep and intense, we began an affair that has lasted off and on for 2 years. We're both married, I told my spouse right away and my brother chose not to. Our relationship has been tumulteous and incredibly painful because he chose to keep this lie. I've been angry enough because how this has affected my life and family that I have said I do not want to bear the pain alone and I may expose him to his wife. Are there legal complications to doing this with or without proof, including copies of texts and photos?

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

Ca

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

He's threatening to say I'm blackmailing him if I expose him

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3/9/2018
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,304
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you.

As far as consequences are concerned, how about the fact that if his wife doesn't like this, you and your half-sibling can be charged with and convicted of a felony, serve up to 3 years in prison, pay a fine of up to $10,000 and both have to register as a sex offender? Two people cannot consent to incest. It's always a crime.

http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-285.html

He can't have you charged with blackmail since that exposes him and you too. How on earth is that possibility worth telling his wife? I suggest it's not. ​

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm well aware of the law regarding incest, after the fact. How many cases have been successfully prosecuted and sentenced in California within the last 10 years?

I don't keep those stats and couldn't tell you. While adultery is not prosecuted, incest is a universal taboo, and it does get prosecuted. I suspect it occurs more frequently than it is prosecuted because in many instances it's consensual and the participants are wise enough to keep quiet about it.

But parents who sexually abuse their children or family members, for example, routinely face incest charges along with charges for the other acts.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I've never taken a DNA test and there is zero proof that I am related to him. Does that matter? Also, getting back to the original question. If I expose he's had an affair with 'someone', by using texts or photos, does it mean that I am breaking any law?

It depends on how you expose it. If you post it on social media for example, that would be doubly unwise. If you tell her privately, so long as it's true, it's not unlawful.

As for proof, your words to your husband and whoever else tell would constitute an admission against interest which is useable in court. And California, a handful of other states, collect DNA from criminal felony defendants upon arrest for the state database.

I'm on the east coast and turning in for the night. If you have a further followup, post it and I'll get it first thing in the morning.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. I would like to know more about "admission against interest".

It’s an exception to the hearsay rule. It’s a confession.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What about marital confidence privilege?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Feel free to answer in the morning, but isn't this somewhat outside of the realm of subject matter as an attorney? I would I have a hard time going to sleep...not intending to be flip, but this is not the situation anyone can imagine happening to them approaching the mid years of your life. It's been difficult to say the least.

The marital confidence priviiege can be waived. If she's angry enough, she doesn't have to protect him and that's my whole point. Just guessing, of course, but if he thought she would have been understanding about this, he would have told her in the first place.

I understand that this is difficult for you. But it looks to me that he's not the one who's looking to make more of an issue of this. You are and you can do damage control. Telling her could backfire in a big way.

And, no, this is not outside of the scope of subject matter as an attorney. It's a sex offense and you asked about legal consequences.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I understand your point clearly. I've protected him for almost three years, have been in therapy since it happened, suffering through deep depression, anxiety, unable to function at times, lost my job because my boss refused to recognize and accept my diagnosis and that I am under a psychiatrist's care. All while dear brother has picked me up and dropped me over and over and suffers none of the loss that I live day in and day out. I'm only informing myself of the legal consequences. I'm positive his wife will not turn either of us in.

I've given you the legal consequences and can only wish you the best of luck. I don't see what telling her could possibly accomplish. In protecting him, you have also been protecting yourself.

You're going to do what you're going to do. But I've told you the criminal consequences. All that remains for me to do is to wish you luck.

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,304
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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