When the son she'd given up for adoption tracked her down in 2004, Katheryn Thornton invited him to come live with her in her Kirkland home. According to her son, now 33, on the second night he stayed with his 54-year-old mom she laid next to him in bed. On the third night she invited him into her room. And on the fourth night, mother and son had sex for the first time, beginning what would eventually become an incredibly creepy 18-month relationship.
Given that he was an adult at the time, it wouldn't seem that the man should be considered a victim. But the King County prosecutor's office has charged Thornton with first-degree incest, a felony. And Deputy Chief of Staff Ian Goodhew says the office has its reasons.
"We're pretty conservative when we make a charging decision regarding incest," says Goodhew. "But there were a number of concerning factors weighed before filing this charge."
Those factors: the two underage kids living with Thornton. And the way she confessed to sleeping with her son with no apparent sense that it might be against the law or, ya know, morally repugnant.
The wheels were put in motion in May, when Thornton's son plead guilty to a (surprise, surprise) charge of child molestation. Thornton was arraigned this morning and plead not guilty. If convicted she would face up to 14-months in jail and would have to register as a sex offender.