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Legislation Would Close Loophole That Allows Child Custody For Rapists

Oct 27, 2017

Convicted rapist Christopher Mirasolo, who was awarded joint custody of his son.
Credit Courtesy Photo / Michigan Department of Corrections

A bill before the Legislature would close loopholes that led to a judge accidentally ordering a woman to share child custody with the man who raped her.  It was the result of a new law that was supposed to get more fathers to pay child support. 

The case out of Sanilac County captured international attention.  A woman applied for public assistance and was asked to name the father of her child.  As part of a pro forma support order, the judge declared both parents would share custody.  He did not know the father had raped the mother when she was 12 and later reversed the order.   

The mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name of Tiffany, say she was ready to defy the custody order if it wasn’t reversed. 

“I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  No matter what, he wasn’t going to see my son.” 

The legislation would strengthen notification requirements that rape victims don’t have to name a father if they file for public assistance for their children.  

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org