The following article appeared last night on Foxnews.com:
"Mich. Woman Gets 9 Years for Sex With Son
Pontiac, Mich. -- A Detroit-area woman who pleaded guilty to having sex with the biological son she gave up for adoption and later tracked down on the Internet has been sentenced nine years to 30 years in prison.
Thirty-six-year-old Aimee L. Sword of Waterford Township apologized at her sentencing Monday in Oakland County Circuit Court. She had pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in a deal with prosecutors.
Police say Sword used Facebook in 2008 to find her son, who's now 16. She gave him up for adoption as an infant.
He testified they had sex in Waterford Township and Grand Rapids."
This article left out all the interesting parts of the story: When Aimee tracked down her son, did she identify herself as his mother? If not, did she lie about anything else, like her age? Was he aware that she was his mother by the time they had sex? If not, when did he find out? What was his reaction? Does she have other children? If so, what was their reaction? Is she married? What has she done with her life in the intervening 16 years? Does she have a track record of perverted crimes or was this her first?
As perverted and sick as this story is, I find myself actually feeling a bit of sympathy for the mother. It's easy to imagine that she had always felt a gap in her life because she had given her son up as an infant. His absence may have been an emptiness that gnawed at her over the years, and she felt the usual -- and perfectly natural -- maternal longings. Then maybe her feelings overwhelmed her -- in an unnatural way -- when she met her son. Or maybe the only way she could get his attention via Facebook was to promise sex, and when they got together, she felt obliged to deliver.
Of course, none of this excuses what she did; but it does make it more understandable.
Psychologists have long known that we are predisposed to not want to have sex with people whom we have watched grow up. This has obvious evolutionary benefits. But Sword did not bring her son up, so those natural inhibitions did not get formed. There have been other documented cases of reunited siblings who have sex with each other, even when they knew they were related. Some of them described the attraction as the most powerful they had ever felt.
Maybe Sword is a long time perv, in which case she doesn't deserve any sympathy. I'm just holding out the possibility that she's not, and her inexcusable act was more a matter of temporary insanity than conscienceless self-indulgence.
In any case, it sounds like something a Greek dramatist should write a play about.
Addendum, same day: Turns out that Sword was married and living with her husband and five other children at the time. And the boy's adoptive parents knew he was staying with his biological mother, so he was aware that he was her mother before he had sex with her. Sword said later that she still hasn't figured out what happened and is going to seek therapy.