Incest in Tennessee can result in a felony conviction, becoming a Violent Sexual Offender on the Registry, and 3 to 6 years in prison
An individual can be charged with Incest if he or she has sexual intercourse with a family member. This offense is based on the relationship between the parties, not the age of the alleged victim. If the alleged victim was also underage at the time of the act, then the defendant would likely receive additional charges based upon the age of the minor.
To succeed in prosecution, the State must show that the defendant and the alleged victim or either whole-blood or half-blood relatives. Interestingly, relation by adoption can also qualify, although many people might not immediately think of that relation as Incest.
The prosecution must also show that the defendant knew of the familial relation. This would normally not be that difficult, assuming that they live together, but there may be a rare situation where the defendant and alleged victim were estranged and happened to be intimate without knowledge of the relation.
Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-302. Incest.
(a) A person commits incest who engages in sexual penetration as defined in § 39-13-501, with a person, knowing the person to be, without regard to legitimacy:
(1) The person’s natural parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, stepparent, stepchild, adoptive parent, adoptive child; or
(2) The person’s brother or sister of the whole or half-blood or by adoption.
(b) Incest is a Class C felony.
Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-501(7). “Sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of the victim’s, the defendant’s, or any other person’s body, but emission of semen is not required.