Monica Mares and Caleb Peterson could face up to 18 months in jail if found guilty of incest at a trial later this year in New Mexico, according to the Daily Mail.
But the 36-year-old woman and her 19-year-old son say they are in love, and they are willing to do anything to fight for their relationship.
“He is the love of my life, and I don’t want to lose him,” Mares told the Daily Mail. “My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us not courts or jail. Nothing.”
Mares, who has eight other children, said she would be willing to give up the right to see her other children in order to be with Peterson.
“Whatever it takes to be together,” she said.
Mares gave birth to Peterson when she was 16 years old. She named him Carlos and gave him up for adoption. He was later renamed by his adoptive parents.
The mother and son met again last year when Peterson was 18, according to the Daily Mail. They got in touch on Facebook, and agreed to meet.
Mares picked Peterson up from his adoptive father’s house in Texas on Christmas Day and brought him to her home.
Mares said their relationship started out as a familial one.
“I met him outside, and I knew it was him when he came towards me,” she said. “He was crying, and he gave me a hug. It was almost love at first sight, but first it was mother love. He gave me a mother hug. He came home in the truck and came to live with me, and we were both happy as mother and son.”
Then, she said she started getting “crazy” feelings.
“It felt like I met somebody new in my life, and I fell in love with him,” Mares said. “At first I told him, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know how you are going to react to this. I’m your mom, and you’re my son, but I’m falling in love with you.’ And he said, ‘You know what, I am too. I was scared to let you know.’ He was falling in love with his mom, and I was falling in love with my son. We talked about it, and we took off to the park. I said, ‘Would you ever date your mom?’ And he said, ‘Would you ever date your son?’ And I said, ‘Honest truth — yes, I would.'”
“I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,” Peterson said. “I never got anything my entire life, and she went out of her way to make me happy, and after about a week or so, I started having feelings for her, and I guess I fell in love. It went beyond a mother-son relationship. I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do, but mostly, I don’t. I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom. It was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong. It felt normal.”
The couple maintained their secret relationship until police found out in February.
They were charged with incest.
Mares and Peterson were released on $5,000 bond, and Mares, whose youngest children had started to call Peterson “Dad,” is not allowed to see any of her children, according to the Daily Mail.
Mares and Peterson are not allowed to see each other.
“It is every bit worth it,” Mares said. “If they lock me up for love, then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him. It hurts (that) he is far away. It hurts really bad. I wish I could see him, talk to him, but I can’t risk it.”
Mares and Peterson hope to raise awareness of “genetic sexual attraction,” relationships in which sexual attraction manifests between close relatives who meet for the first time as adult