An interesting case out of Massachusetts is making headlines around the country. The case involves a rapist, who admits that he is the father of the child born to his underage victim, and is seeking visitation rights to the child.
In the state of Massachusetts, this is considered to be a precedent-setting legal fight, with the victim as and her family both fighting back against the rapist’s visitation rights claim.
The girl was raped when she was 14, and became pregnant as a result. She decided to keep her baby. She remains a teen mother, and according to her parents, continues to suffer from severe anxiety and depression. The rape occurred when she was in the 8th grade, and the man involved was a 20-year-old whom she met at a local church. Attorneys for the man say that the relationship that resulted in the child was actually consensual, even though it was inappropriate because of the age difference between the 2.
In 2009, the man was charged with statutory rape of a child, and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 16 years of probation on the condition that he acknowledge that he is the father of the child, and abide by all the decisions of the Family Court.
The court ordered the rapist to pay child support, and as a result, he has now decided to seek visitation rights. The child in this case is 3 years old.
Currently, there are 31 states in the United States that do not prevent rapists from trying to obtain visitation rights. In the state of Washington, for instance, there are no laws that prevent a rapist from seeking child custody or visitation rights for children conceived as a result of the rape.