*Editor’s note, this story must be told but it is difficult to read. People must understand that today, in the US, survivors are victimized by the courts and rapists are given rights. Trigger warnings for frank discussion of violence, rape, kidnapping, and the American court system.
A 21-year-old Michigan mother is left feeling violated a second time as a judge gave her “alleged” rapist parenting time and joint legal custody of her 8-year-old child. The judge made the order without consulting the survivor following a DNA test confirming that Mirasolo is the child’s biological parent:
According to the Detroit News, the survivor’s attorney says Sanilac County Circuit Judge Gregory S. Ross awarded Christopher Mirasolo, 27, joint custody after a DNA test established Mirasolo was the parent of the child. The attorney, Rebecca Kiessling, has filed an objection with Ross and will be seeking the survivor’s protection under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act at a hearing on Oct. 25.
She alleges that in 2008, Mirasolo abducted her, her 13-year-old sister, and a friend and kept them captive for two days in a vacant house. A month later, when she discovered she was pregnant, he was arrested. He was allowed to plead to lesser charges, serving less than six months of a one year sentence.
In March 2010, Mirasolo, then 23, was again convicted. This time, of sexually assaulting a child. This child was between 13 and 15. He served four years for his repeat offense.
The survivor’s attorney, Rebecca Kiessling, says Sanilac County Circuit Judge Gregory S. Ross awarded alleged rapist, Christopher Mirasolo, 27, joint custody after a DNA test established that he was the parent of the child. Kiessling has filed an objection with Ross and will seek the survivor’s protection under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act at a hearing on Oct. 25.
The judge’s order added Mirasolo to the child’s birth certificate and forced the survivor to provide him with her address. Kiessling also said despite assistant prosecutor Eric Scott’s insistence, her client was never asked for consent to give Mirasolo joint custody nor did she give it.
With Mirasolo being granted joint legal custody, the survivor is now prohibited from moving more than 100 miles from where she lived when the case was filed without the court’s consent, and she had to “come home immediately or she would be held in contempt of court.”
“I think this is all crazy,” the survivor told the News. “They [officials] never explained anything to me. I was receiving about $260 a month in food stamps for me and my son and health insurance for him. I guess they were trying to see how to get some of the money back.”
That the focus has been on recouping money instead of concern for the impact this decision is untenable. This young woman was violated as a child, and now as a woman, she has been re-victimized, forced to allow her rapist (anyone that fathers a child with a 12-year-old is a rapist) not only access to her child but legal decision making power and control over where she lives.
They gave rights to a repeat offender, just to get some money from a struggling single mother who didn’t choose that life. Hopefully, the Federal law protecting survivors will force justice to be done, but at this point, our own courts have done more to punish the survivor of this assault than the violator.
Featured image via Pixabay