Latest News 2012 October Rapist, Due to Pay Support of Child He Fathered, Seeks Visitation

Rapist, Due to Pay Support of Child He Fathered, Seeks Visitation

As there is no statute yet in the state of Massachusetts regarding a woman that gives birth following a rape, to protect her and her child when the rapist demands visitation, an uncomfortable family law debate is now underway, as reported by My Fox Boston.

The father, 20 years old when he admitted to raping the victim, then 14 years old, is seeking his visitation rights as a result of being ordered by a judge to pay child support.

The victim and her family argue that the matter of visitation came up at the same time the child support payment was due.

The victim's mother told reporters, "She got raped at 14. She decided to keep her baby. And now she has to hand her baby over for a visit with her rapist?"

The young mother allegedly stuffers with severe depression and is now terrified at the thought of having to face her rapist.

The victim, who was in 8th grade at the time of the rape, told reporters, "He threatened me. He told me that he could make my life upside down, and I wouldn't have anybody and he would pin it all on me. So I was scared."

After the rape the victim told her mother, who promptly contacted the police and filed charges.

The victim, who chose to keep her baby due to her religious beliefs, said, "Being Christian, the way I looked at it, the way I thought of it, this is a baby, an innocent person that didn't do anything wrong. Like, why should I take away that life."

In 2009 the man was charged with four counts of statutory rape of a child, pleaded guilty to all four charges and the prosecution asked for a three to five year prison sentence. Superior Court Judge T.M. sentenced him to 16 years of probation – only if he agrees to acknowledge being the father and abide by probate and family court. Then the probate court ordered that he pay child support – which allowed the man to then seek visitation rights.

The victim said, "He hasn't cared up until now. Why should he now? She's three. She doesn't know who he is."

The man has claimed that the relationship was consensual.

Attorney Wendy Murphy has been hired by the family. Murphy commented, "The consequences of sentencing this man to probation for 16 years, which is really until the child becomes an adult, and making him declare paternity and pay child support, includes that this guy gets a legal father-child relationship out of the deal. All this family wants is to cut the cord…and if the judge wants to help them financially that's great. But let's call it restitution, not child support..."

The state of Massachusetts is one of 34 states that have yet to set a statute regarding the protection of a rape victim that chooses to give birth to and keep her child. Of the 16 states that have dealt with the issue, nine allow or require that the rapist terminate any parental rights and seven allow or require that custody or visitation privileges be stripped.

This child visitation case is a rare one. However, if you are dealing with issues in regards to child visitation, support or custody, contact a family law attorney for help.

Categories: Child Custody, Family Law