A man has been charged with incest after a woman told police he began having sex with her when she was 16, according to court records.

A female relative said she witnessed the two engaged in sexual activity in a kitchen in the Zionsville home Thomas Skaggs and his wife Dawn shared with their three children for about a year, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The alleged victim said the abuse continued over a period of years as the Skaggs family moved from town to town and she cared for the Skaggs’ children, including a severely disabled child, according to court records.

She told investigators she had nowhere else to go, felt responsible for the children and had no money of her own, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Kevin Kinder reported. Dawn Skaggs controlled the woman’s Social Security Disability check and would not give her money, but would buy cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana she requested, according to court records. She reportedly took on grass mowing jobs to earn cash.

Skaggs twice beat her over her talking to a male friend, once in Hancock County, and once when they lived in Putnam County, according to court records. He took her to out-of-the-way sites to press his attention on her, and she feared for her life when they were out of sight, she reportedly told investigators.

The woman called a friend and left the family one day when Thomas and Dawn argued and he kicked the rest of the family out of their home, according to court records. She was an adult by that time.

Kinder interviewed Thomas Skaggs and took a DNA sample in July 2018, linking him to the woman who claimed he sexually abused her, according to court records.

Skaggs, who now lives in Morristown, was charged in January with incest and attempted incest, both class C felonies, and arrested Oct. 2. He bonded out of the Boone County Jail and is scheduled for a February trial.

Incest is defined, in part, as occurring when someone 18 or older engages in sexual intercourse and/or other deviate sexual conduct with another person who is related to the defendant biologically as a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

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