BETHEL, Conn. (AP) – A 46-year-old Connecticut man and his 23-year-old daughter told police they weren’t certain they were related before beginning a sexual relationship and having a son together, police said in charging them with sex crimes.
George Sayers Jr. and Tiffany Hartford, of Bethel in western Connecticut, were charged Monday with third-degree sexual assault, obscenity and conspiracy after authorities said DNA tests showed Sayers was the father of both Hartford and her baby. Each pleaded not guilty and was being held on bail.
Hartford told police she aspired to be a porn star before she got pregnant, according to arrest warrant affidavits. The infant is now in state custody.
Hartford’s public defender didn’t return a message Thursday. It’s not clear if Sayers has a lawyer. A woman who answered the phone at their home Thursday hung up on a reporter.
The investigation began in February when Hartford’s now-former girlfriend complained to police that Sayers didn’t get her permission before selling videos and photos of her and Hartford having sex, according to the affidavits.
Questions about the relationship between Sayers and Hartford arose when police executed a search warrant at their home in the pornography investigation. Detectives asked a relative at the house about the couple’s relationship, and she told them that “Tiffany is his girlfriend, but we also think that she is his daughter,” the affidavits say.
Police then asked Hartford about the relationship and she said Sayers was her boyfriend. When pressed if Sayers was her father, Hartford said she wasn’t sure, police said.
Police said Sayers initially told them that Hartford was a friend. He later acknowledged that he was once told he might be her father, but he didn’t believe it, the affidavits say. Still later, he told detectives that he or other men, including his deceased brother, could be Hartford’s father, and insisted there was no proof that she was his daughter, the affidavits say.
Investigators say they asked Sayers if a paternity test would show that Hartford and her baby were his children, and he responded that it could be a possibility, according to the affidavits.
Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky declined to comment, citing rules of professional conduct on pending cases. He said incest cases are rare in Connecticut.
The arrest warrant affidavits were first obtained and reported by The News-Times of Danbury, and later by The Hartford Courant. They are now sealed from public view.
The obscenity and conspiracy charges are related to the selling of the videos and photos of Hartford and her former girlfriend, the affidavits say. The girlfriend was 16 or 17 at the time and knew she was being recorded having sex with Hartford, police said. The age of consent in Connecticut is 16.
The third-degree sexual assault charge is a felony that carries one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. They are accused under a section of the charge that deals with related people.
Sayers is being held on $100,000 bail and Hartford is detained on $25,000 bail. They’re due back in Danbury Superior Court on Dec. 21.
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