2021 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 6 - Sexual Offenses
§ 16-6-22. Incest

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-6-22 (2021)
  1. A person commits the offense of incest when such person engages in sexual intercourse or sodomy, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-6-2, with a person whom he or she knows he or she is related to either by blood or by marriage as follows:
    1. Father and child or stepchild;
    2. Mother and child or stepchild;
    3. Siblings of the whole blood or of the half blood;
    4. Grandparent and grandchild of the whole blood or of the half blood;
    5. Aunt and niece or nephew of the whole blood or of the half blood; or
    6. Uncle and niece or nephew of the whole blood or of the half blood.
  2. A person convicted of the offense of incest shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 30 years; provided, however, that any person convicted of the offense of incest under this subsection with a child under the age of 14 years shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 25 nor more than 50 years. Any person convicted under this Code section of the offense of incest shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.

(Laws 1833, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 814; Code 1863, § 4418; Code 1868, § 4459; Code 1873, § 4533; Code 1882, § 4533; Ga. L. 1886, p. 30, § 1; Penal Code 1895, § 380; Penal Code 1910, § 371; Ga. L. 1916, p. 51, § 1; Code 1933, § 26-5701; Code 1933, § 26-2006, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Ga. L. 2006, p. 379, § 14/HB 1059; Ga. L. 2010, p. 168, § 3/HB 571; Ga. L. 2015, p. 203, § 1-1/SB 72.)

Cross references.

- Actions for childhood sexual abuse, § 9-3-33.1.

Degrees of relationship within which intermarriage prohibited, § 19-3-3.

Visitation with minors by convicted sexual offenders while imprisoned, § 42-5-56.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2006, p. 379, § 1/HB 1059, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly finds and declares that recidivist sexual offenders, sexual offenders who use physical violence, and sexual offenders who prey on children are sexual predators who present an extreme threat to the public safety. Many sexual offenders are extremely likely to use physical violence and to repeat their offenses; and some sexual offenders commit many offenses, have many more victims than are ever reported, and are prosecuted for only a fraction of their crimes. The General Assembly finds that this makes the cost of sexual offender victimization to society at large, while incalculable, clearly exorbitant. The General Assembly further finds that the high level of threat that a sexual predator presents to the public safety, and the long-term effects suffered by victims of sex offenses, provide the state with sufficient justification to implement a strategy that includes:

"(1) Incarcerating sexual offenders and maintaining adequate facilities to ensure that decisions to release sexual predators into the community are not made on the basis of inadequate space;

"(2) Requiring the registration of sexual offenders, with a requirement that complete and accurate information be maintained and accessible for use by law enforcement authorities, communities, and the public;

"(3) Providing for community and public notification concerning the presence of sexual offenders;

"(4) Collecting data relative to sexual offenses and sexual offenders;

"(5) Requiring sexual predators who are released into the community to wear an electronic monitoring system for the rest of their natural life and to pay for such system; and

"(6) Prohibiting sexual predators from working with children, either for compensation or as a volunteer.

"The General Assembly further finds that the state has a compelling interest in protecting the public from sexual offenders and in protecting children from predatory sexual activity, and there is sufficient justification for requiring sexual offenders to register and for requiring community and public notification of the presence of sexual offenders. The General Assembly declares that in order to protect the public, it is necessary that the sexual offenders be registered and that members of the community and the public be notified of a sexual offender's presence. The designation of a person as a sexual offender is neither a sentence nor a punishment but simply a regulatory mechanism and status resulting from the conviction of certain crimes. Likewise, the designation of a person as a sexual predator is neither a sentence nor a punishment but simply a regulatory mechanism and status resulting from findings by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board and a court if requested by a sexual offender."

Ga. L. 2006, p. 379, § 30(c)/HB 1059, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The provisions of this Act shall not affect or abate the status as a crime of any such act or omission which occurred prior to the effective date of the Act repealing, repealing and reenacting, or amending such law, nor shall the prosecution of such crime be abated as a result of such repeal, repeal and reenactment, or amendment."

Law reviews.

- For article on 2006 amendment of this Code section, see 23 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 11 (2006). For annual survey on criminal law, see 68 Mercer L. Rev. 93 (2016).



  • General Consideration
  • Relationships
  • Evidence
  • Relationship With Other Crimes
  • Sentence


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 41 Am. Jur. 2d, Incest, § 1 et seq.


- 42 C.J.S., Incest, § 1 et seq.


- Relationship created by adoption as within statute prohibiting marriage between parties in specified relationships, or statute regarding incest, 151 A.L.R. 1146.

Consent as element of incest, 36 A.L.R.2d 1299.

Prosecutrix in incest case as accomplice or victim, 74 A.L.R.2d 705.

Incest as included within charge of rape, 76 A.L.R.2d 484.

Admissibility, in incest prosecution, of evidence of alleged victim's prior sexual acts with persons other than the accused, 97 A.L.R.3d 967.

Sexual intercourse between persons related by half blood as incest, 34 A.L.R.5th 723.

Admissibility of suicide note in criminal proceedings, 13 A.L.R.7th 6.

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