He was a 23-year-old locksmith. She was a 16-year-old student. It was love at first sight. The one problem: They were brother and sister. Now, after seven years together parenting four children, at least two of whom were born with disabilities, Susan and Patrick are battling to overturn one of the western world's last remaining taboos -- incest.
Separated at birth, the couple first met in 2000 when Patrick set out to find his birth mother. Upon discovering his long lost genetic family, he claims to have had an instant and mutual attraction to his sister Susan. The two shared a room together and, soon enough, they began to have children. But, unlike many countries in Europe, Germany still considers incest a crime, and Patrick was eventually sent to jail for 25 months because of their relationship (Susan, under 18 at the time, avoided sentencing).
After his release, they resumed their relationship, taking up residence together and having more children. Patrick was once again convicted and sentenced to 30 months, while Susan received one year of probation. But, due to the bizarrely touching nature of their story, the couple gained celebrity status in the media amid a growing public sympathy for reform. They met with politicians, worked the talk-show circuit and embraced defiantly before the cameras. In part because of that groundswell, Germany's constitutional court has put a delay on Patrick's sentence as judges consider whether the ban on incest is legal.
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