Iowa Case Displays Complexities of ‘Taboo’ Crime of Incest


The Des Moines Register tells the story of Maia Beadeau, 54, who made headlines in Iowa in 2007 when she and her daughter lured a 12-year-old relative to their home, then beat him in retaliation for an alleged sex assault. Beadeau eventually fled to Mexico and was arrested in March while crossing the border. The Register says the case centers on multi-generational incest. The paper says her story “sheds light on problems associated with reporting and investigating allegations of incest, a potentially devastating but seldom discussed crime.?”

Beadeau said she tried in vain for years to get authorities to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of children by members of her extended family. Psychologists view the crime of incest as one of the worst a human can endure, with post-traumatic effects sometimes worse than those suffered by rape victims and war veterans. It’s also one of the more common types of sex crimes in Iowa and elsewhere. Yet it’s still taboo. Victims are still so hesitant to come forward and family dynamics are so complex that many investigations go nowhere, sex abuse and legal experts say.

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