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Thread: Teen Embroiled in Horrifying Joint Custody Battle With Her Rapist

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Teen Embroiled in Horrifying Joint Custody Battle With Her Rapist

    A young Massachusetts woman and her family have suddenly been thrown into a nightmarish legal battle to keep her admitted rapist from seeking joint custody of the child he fathered from his crime. A probate court's decision to order the man to pay child support means that he can now also petition the court for joint custody, thanks to a surreal set of legal loopholes preventing rape victims from completely severing the paternal connection with their attackers.

    According to Fox's Boston affiliate, the young woman was raped when she was just 14-years-old by an acquaintance from church, the 20-year-old boyfriend of her friend's older sister. "He threatened me," the girl told Fox reporter Mike Beaudet. "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." Nevertheless, when her mother learned of the incident, she and her daughter marched straight to the police to press charges. The girl, though, decided to keep the child, and now, despite a bout with anxiety and depression, she's being forced to deal with the very real possibility that her rapist will linger in her life for the foreseeable future.


    Even though the Norfolk prosecutor asked for a three to five year prison sentence at the father's trial, Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire decided that it'd be way better to give him 16 years probation on the condition that he admit paternity and pay child support. Wendy Murphy, the family's attorney, takes issue first with the fact that this case went to family court rather than criminal court (where it belonged), and with Judge McGuire's seemingly misguided attempt to ensure the rapist provided financial support for his child:
    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.
    Murphy has filed a motion with the court asking the judge to amend sentencing conditions and order the man to pay restitution rather than child support. She explained,
    All this family wants is to cut the cord. Get the rapist out of their lives. And if the judge wants to help them financially that's great. But let's call it restitution, not child support.
    According to a 2010 study out of Georgetown, 16 states have so far closed a series of distressing legal loopholes that allow rapists who father children to seek joint custody. Though Massachusetts obviously has not yet grappled with the need to protect rape victims and their children from their attackers, Murphy is hoping that this case might help get the ball rolling. She has filed an emergency petition with a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court to prompt the Superior Court judge, who has not yet ruled on her motion to reconsider the sentence, to act with a little more haste.


    Teen Embroiled in Horrifying Joint Custody Battle With Her Rapist
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  2. #2
    fgg
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    Elite Member fgg's Avatar
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    what a horrible legal spot to be in on top of an already nightmare-ish situation!

    ETA: if this guy is an admitted rapist and she was 14 at the time, wouldn't he end up being classified as a child predator and not be allowed to see the baby anyway?
    Last edited by fgg; September 26th, 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    How horrifying for this girl. I hope its all straightened out in her favor.
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    Elite Member Ravenna's Avatar
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    I hope the rapist dies and solves that problem.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Impeach Thomas McGuire! Impeach Thomas McGuire!!!

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Oh, how lovely that her rapist was a guy she knew FROM CHURCH! Geez!!!

    Here is what I propose:

    The douche should pay all medical expenses for the girl, including therapy.
    Full restituion for the child until he/she reaches 18.
    Full tuition for the child's college.
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    Elite Member Seapharris7's Avatar
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    What brainiac thought of this law?!? Those poor rapist who stole the innocence of the mother & accidentally fathered a kid, clearly he also cared about STDs... yeah, what about HIS rights?

    Oh, and if the kid is a girl... who the fuck is gonna trust this "father" to not push his sexual deviant BS onto her? Not to mention the kid being fucked up in the head knowing they were a product of a rape. I think the rapist should take financial responsibility, but I would NOT be ok with physical custody.
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    I can't get over the fact that a family court judge would take a criminal case. Boggles the mind. This poor girl and her family. If they're southside Boston, methinks this problem would be solved fairly quickly.

    But the article doesn't say that he is seeking visitation/custody, just that the pathetic sentencing order would allow him to try.
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Fuck this shitty system. Seriously, the is such bullshit.

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    Elite Member MmeVertigina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgg View Post
    what a horrible legal spot to be in on top of an already nightmare-ish situation!

    ETA: if this guy is an admitted rapist and she was 14 at the time, wouldn't he end up being classified as a child predator and not be allowed to see the baby anyway?

    One would think! ^

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    He deserves to have his nuts chopped off, but why the hell would parents allow their 14 year old to carry out a pregnancy? That is just crazy.
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    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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    Isn't there some law in that state considering the child is a product of rape that it is not in the best interest of the child to let him/her see the father because of an unsafe environment?

    Kind of like how if a parent is an abusive then parental rights are taken away?

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