Columbia University professor charged with incest

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Columbia University professor has been arrested on charges of having sexual relations with his daughter, officials said on Friday.

David Epstein, 46, a political science professor at the Ivy League school, faces one count of incest in the third degree, according to a complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

He had relations with his daughter, now 24, from 2006 through 2009, the complaint said. Epstein was released on his own recognizance after appearing before a judge on Thursday.

His attorney, Matthew Galluzzo, said on Friday that Epstein was innocent of the “unwarranted and unfair charges.”

“Professor Epstein is well-respected by his peers and students and he asks that his friends in the Columbia community support him and give him the benefit of the doubt during this trying time,” Galluzzo said in a statement.

Columbia University spokesman Brian Connolly said: “While we cannot comment on matters within the criminal justice system, we can confirm that the faculty member is now on administrative leave and will not be teaching students.”

If convicted, Epstein faces up to four years behind bars.