Steven Pladl, 42, and Katie Pladl, 20 were arrested on January 27, 2018 and charged with incest, adultery, and contributing to delinquency. The couple were arrested at their home in Knightdale, North Carolina after authorities learned that Steven and his biological daughter Katie had a child together and lived as a “married” couple.
Katie Rose Pladl was born in 1998 to Steven Walter Pladl and her biological mother (unnamed in the case), but was legally adopted out of state. When Katie turned 18 in 2016, she used social media to track down her biological parents. After reconnecting, she moved in with the couple and their two children in August 2016.
Just three months later, Steven and his wife legally separated, and she moved out. His wife told authorities that Steven had been sleeping on Katie’s bedroom floor before she left. Fast forward to May 23, 2017, and Steven’s wife snooped and read a diary that belonged to one of her children; in it she learned that Katie was pregnant and Steven was the baby’s daddy—and also his grandfather.
When she confronted her husband, Steven admitted he was the father. He said he and Katie planned to marry.
On May 31, 2017, the Henrico County Child Advocacy Center interviewed the Pladl’s other two children, who confirmed that their dad Steven told them he was the father of Katie’s baby.
Steven and Katie eventually moved to Wake County, North Carolina. The father/daughter couple welcomed a baby boy in September 2017.
On November 29, 2017, Henrico County police issued arrest warrants for Katie and Steven Pladl.
Despite the fact that incest is illegal, neither Katie nor Steven shied away from letting people know they were a couple and that he was the father of his daughter’s baby.
On July 21, 2017, Katie posted a photo on her Instagram account, featuring the couple on their wedding day. Under the picture of Steve caressing Katie’s face it reads: “Nothing fancy, just love 💍 #justmarried #simplewedding #pregnancy”
And on December 24, 2017, Katie posted a shot on Instagram of her holding her son in front of a Christmas tree, with the caption:
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year #happyholidays#babysfirstchristmas #babychristmas”
If convicted, the pair could face up to 10 years in prison.
While rare, there have been cases of adoptees forming sexual relationships with their biological siblings or biological parents. Genetic sexual attraction, or GSA, occurs when two member of the same biological family meet as strangers when they’re adults and fall in love.
GSA allegedly differs from incest because it does not occur among family members who have spent their lives together. According to one study, about 50% of those who meet their biological families as adults experience strong sexual attraction. Not everyone acts on it though, and fewer still consummate the relationship and have children together.