An Ohio man sexually assaulted his stepdaughter and then married her before she killed their three sons one-by-one, the authorities said.
Joseph Pilkington, 43, sexually assaulted his future wife, Brittany Pilkington, 23, while he was living in her home in 2009, according to an indictment made public last Thursday, reported NY Daily News.
She suffocated their three sons, ranging in age from three months to four years, between July 2014 and August 2015, police said.
After the deaths of the first two boys, Children Services took her two younger children, a boy and a girl, into custody but a judge returned them.
The judge had ruled that there was no concrete evidence the first two boys were killed, reported US news site ABC22.
Brittany confessed to the police that she killed her sons so that her daughter, Hailey, three, would get more attention from her father, they said.
She had calmly called 911 last month to report her baby son wasn't breathing before confessing to killing him and her two other sons, police said.
Pilkington was not at home then.
He had moved in with Brittany and her mum when she was nine years old.
"After raising her as one of his daughters for years, he had sexual intercourse with her when she was 17 and got her pregnant," according to the indictment.
Brittany's mum said she didn't mind Pilkington taking up romantically with her daughter.
He identified himself as her father at doctor's appointments and also paid for her living expenses, food and shelter.
He was arrested in Newark, Ohio, for sexual battery.
Britany pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated murder and faces the death penalty. She is in jail on a US$1 million (S$1.4m) bond.
This article was first published on September 15, 2015.
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