Judge orders stay on ruling that gave convicted rapist in Michigan joint custody of child

Mother fears man she says raped her will be allowed time with her son

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor, Derick Hutchinson

SANILAC COUNTY, Mich. - A stay has been issued in the case of a convicted rapist who was granted joint custody of a child conceived during a sexual assault.

The Sanilac County judge who awarded the convicted rapist joint custody has issued a stay on the case, putting the ruling on hold.

The child's mother said she was raped by Christopher Mirasolo when she was just 12 years old. Now 21, the woman has an 8-year-old boy.

She's worried Mirasolo will be allowed parental time with her son. Mirasolo's name isn't on the child's birth certificate.

The case began when the mother sought financial assistance from the state. The Sanilac County prosecutor pursued Mirasolo for paternity, and the judge ordered joint custody to him as the child's father.

On Tuesday afternoon, both the judge and Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young walked back their positions.

"The order awarded the mother sole physical custody of the minor child," Young said in a statement. "The order is clear in that. If the mother does not want the father to have visitation, she does not have to provide it."

The mother's attorney, Rebecca Kiessling, said the prosecutor apparently doesn't understand what the order said.

"The prosecutor issued a statement trying to make it sound like it was no big deal," Kiessling said. "It is a big deal, and I was so pleased the judge recognized that."

The order has been stayed pending a hearing on Oct. 17. It appears the judge might not have been given pertinent information by the prosecutor.

"There's nothing to suggest that the judge knew this involved a child molester," Kiessling said. "But I'll tell you, the prosecutor's office knew."

Kiessling said Young botched the case from the initial rape charges.

"I'm hoping that the judge takes the opportunity to really chastise the prosecutor for how this was handled," Kieslling said.

Mirasolo pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct and served six months in jail. He was later convicted for sexually assaulting another young girl.

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