A letter to the Judge

This one should be sent to: District Judge Fred T. Van Soelen Curry County Courthouse 700 North Main, Suite #2. Clovis, NM 88101 (575) 742-7500,


Dear Fred T. Van Soelen,

As I understand things, you are currently the judge in the case against Monica Mares and her son Caleb Petersen, who are being charged with incest. I am writing to you to outline the reasons that I believe this case should be thrown out.

First and foremost, the investigation itself and the treatment of this pair is sadly a monument to bad practice. For a start, neither were read their rights at the time of arrest. Clearly this is in breach of what we know to be standard procedure whenever a person is arrested for any crime, no matter the nature of that crime. Not every citizen may be aware of their rights, including the right to remain silent, and thus they should be read their rights at the time of arrest. For this reason, you should declare any testimony obtained prior to the reading of their rights to be inadmissible in your courtroom. This would serve to do two very important things, it would bring some sense of fairness to the treatment of the defendants, and it would also encourage the local police to follow procedure each and every time a person is arrested.

I am aware, of course, that you put a no-contact order in place for Ms. Mares and Mr. Petersen. However, the court failed to inform them of this order, and then you jailed them for two months for breaking the order. Since I will work on the assumption that expecting psychic abilities from defendants is not standard practice, I would imagine that a blunder like this would be embarrassing for you, not to mention highly inconvenient and unfair to the defendants. At the very least they deserve an apology from the court for this mistreatment.

I also understand that you have Mr. Petersen down as a victim, and yet your prosecutor has chosen to simultaneously prosecute him too. Now, this is a logical disconnect. Either he is a victim and should face no charges, or he is a co-defendant. You cannot possibly have it both ways and save face.

Finally, I come to the issue of the illegality of incest. Does not the US constitution require respect for personal and sexual autonomy? You and I both know full well that it does, which means that the law against incest is in fact a breach of the constitutional rights of American citizens. While most people would be very uncomfortable even speaking about incest, much less engaging in it, it cannot and does not change the fact that some people feel very differently about the subject. With the law against incest being unconstitutional, you are under no obligation to enforce it. You could choose to throw the case out right now. At this point whether they did it or not is beside the point, namely that people should not face a trial for incest between consenting adults.

At it’s core, this is a human rights issue and should be treated as such, and the ramifications of your decisions here go far beyond the lives of this one mother and son, rather it has the potential to impact upon the lives of ALL consanguinamorous individuals living within the USA. I implore you to make the right choice and to declare the anti-incest laws unconstitutional, and thus unenforceable. Consanguinamory rights is not an issue that is going to go away, it will crop up again and again until this grave injustice is corrected.

Thank you for your time,