SANILAC COUNTY, Mich. – It could be the first case of its kind in Michigan.
A judge in Sanilac County has awarded joint legal custody to a man who raped a young girl, the victim's attorney said.
She was just 12 at the time and now has an 8-year-old boy.
The convicted rapist and biological father was not on the child's birth certificate. With joint legal custody, he could have input in decisions regarding the boy's education, religion and medical issues. He could also end up having the right to spend time with the child.
A young mother fears the man she says raped her will be allowed parental time with her son.
"He was conceived out of rape, but I don't look at that. He's my child. He's a part of me. Not a part of him," the mother said. "I hope he never has any rights to him at all."
Now 21, the victim said she was raped by Christopher Mirasolo. Her attorney said when the woman applied for state aid, Sanilac County assistant prosecutor Eric Scott filed a motion to establish paternity and collect child support.
"He claims my client agreed to it and even claimed she signed the judgment, and I'm like, 'No, she didn't. I have it right here,'" said Rebecca Kiessling, the victim's attorney.
Mirasolo pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct and served a half-year in jail. He was later convicted for sexually assaulting another young girl.
Judge Gregory Ross awarded the 27-year-old Brown City man joint legal custody. Kiessling is challenging the decision. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17.
The Detroit News reported Tuesday Ross stayed his decision granting joint legal custody
"Hopefully other rape victims who experience the same thing will hear word of this, and also judges will learn that they can't be doing this sort of thing and will held accountable," Kiessling said.
"Everyone told me it wouldn't happen or go through, but here we are and it's happening now," the victim said.
Mirasolo's attorney said this motion came as a surprise to her client and was not pursued by them. She said they never talked about parental time and she's not sure if it's something he wants.
The next hearing is set for the end of the month.