Rapists can sue for child custody and visitation rights in 31 states

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Mike, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I thought this story was Kafkaesque enough until I got to the this: "Massachusetts is one of 31 states in which rapists are allowed to sue for child custody and visitation. Thirty-one."

    Weatherford Democrat: A spectacularly awful week in rape (Aug 30 2013)

    The first story comes from Massachusetts, where a plaintiff known only as H.T. has sued the commonwealth in federal court for forcing her into a long-term relationship with her rapist. In 2009 H.T. became pregnant as the result of a rape that occurred when she was 14 - in middle school. Her rapist, Jamie Melendez, was 20. Melendez pleaded guilty to the rape in 2011 and was sentenced to 16 years of probation. But the conditions of his probation also included an order that he "initiate proceedings in family court and comply with that court's orders until the child reaches adulthood." In short, according to the new complaint filed by H.T., the man who raped her was ordered to "initiate proceedings in family court, declare paternity as to the child born of his crime (paternity had already been determined in the criminal case, via DNA testing), and comply with the family court's orders throughout the probationary period."

    This forced relationship between the victim and her assailant was judicially mandated despite the fact that the "plaintiff and her mother were adamantly opposed to participation in family court proceedings and repeatedly expressed this sentiment to state officials."

    In 2011 the court ordered Melendez to pay $110 per week in child support. Never having seen the child, he sought visitation and then allegedly offered to withdraw his request for visitation in exchange for not having to pay child support. H.T. asked the criminal court judge to order Melendez to pay criminal restitution instead of child support, keeping herself and her child out of his life, but the judge refused. The Supreme Judicial Court for Massachusetts found that she lacked standing to challenge the sentencing judge's order. So H.T. filed suit arguing that she wants nothing to do with the child's father, and that she "be liberated from a state court order that not only imposes unlawfully on her liberty for 16 years, but also obligates her with the unwanted and inappropriate responsibility for ensuring Melendez's compliance with the conditions of his probation."

    Massachusetts is one of 31 states in which rapists are allowed to sue for child custody and visitation. Thirty-one ...
  2. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    :mad: Un-F*&#-ing believable!!
    I have no problem with the court forcing the rapist to comply with his financial responsibility and support the child; however, since this life was created by his criminal act, he should be denied any contact with his victim and the child. The laws and/or court rulings that victimize the victim should be overturned in this case, but that would make sense and be much to logical for judges to wrap their feeble brains around. Sheesh!:rolleyes:

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