Rapist Requests Visitation Rights to Child Born as a Result of His Crime
A 20-year-old man is seeking visitation rights to a child born after he raped a 14-year-old girl. In an exclusive investigation by the Fox News affiliate in Boston, Mike Beaudet reported that the judge in the case sentenced the admitted rapist to probation citing that his primary purpose was to get the biological father to support the child financially. Now, the rapist is seeking visitation rights and the victim’s attorney is blaming the judge for opening up that possibility.
There is a loophole in Massachusetts law that allows rapists to receive parental rights. The victim told Beaudet that the rapist threatened her and said he would pin the blame on her. She doesn’t think he should have any rights to her child, saying, “He hasn’t cared up until now. Why should he now? She’s three; she doesn’t know who he is.”
The Norfolk County District Attorney’s office wanted the man jailed for three to five years, but the judge sentenced him to 16 years probation with the conditions that he acknowledge he’s the father and abide by the probate and family court. The family court ordered the man to pay child support and he then, requested visitation.
The victim’s mother questioned, “What are these judges thinking? She got raped at 14; she decided to keep her baby – now she has to hand her baby over for a visit with her rapist?”
Wendy Murphy, the attorney representing the girl, filed a motion to reverse the sentence, asking the judge to order the rapist to pay restitution instead of child support. The judge denied that motion and defended his decision, noting that he also ordered the rapist to abide by any restraining orders.
Murphy said the problem is that, “By sending them off to family court, you’re saying that the child born of the crime – who is also a crime victim – has to deal with the possibility that a judge is going to say, well you know, your father did rape your mother but he never hurt you, so we have to give him fatherly rights.”
Massachusetts State representative, Steven Levy, plans on filling a bill that would pass laws to protect a woman who is raped and chooses to raise her child. He said, “It’s time in Massachusetts that we put victims’ rights before criminals’ rights.”