Michigan judge reverses own ruling, denies child custody to convicted rapist

Christopher Mirasolo convicted of sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl in 2008

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor, Derick Hutchinson

SANILAC COUNTY, Mich. - A judge in Sanilac County reversed his own ruling Tuesday and took away the parental rights of a man who allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl and was named the father of her baby earlier this month.

When Christopher Mirasolo, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 2008 and is now out of prison, was awarded custody of the child conceived during that alleged assault, it sparked international outrage.

But now the judge has rescinded his order.

Before the hearing at a rally outside the courthouse, the mother fighting for sole custody, Tiffany, arrived with the hope that the judge would permanently vacate the order that gave her rapist custody of her child.

"I want my son to be free from this rapist," she said. "He doesn't deserve custody at all, and the judge and the prosecutor need to go."

Only the judge was permitted to speak at the hearing. He vacated the order, but implied that the blame for this mess lies primarily with the prosecutor.

"The question everyone is asking is, 'How could a judge do such a thing?'" Judge Gregory Ross said. "The answer is that this judge was not aware, did not have knowledge of the fact, that the defendant had raped the plaintiff and the child was born as as result."

Prosecutor James Young points the finger of blame at the Department of Human Services for the fact that the prosecutor didn't know the father of the child was the mother's rapist.

"Obviously, we're going to require DHS to provide us with more information relative to who's coming before us," Young said.

Both the prosecutor and the judge said they were sorry the victim has had to go through the painful legal ordeal.

"He was apologetic, I guess I should say," Tiffany said. "But it wasn't sincere. He doesn't understand what I've been through the last nine years."

"I'm proud of my daughter for staying strong, even though inside we're breaking," said Jennifer, Tiffany's mother. "We're trying to stay strong and be strong for this, to fight for her son, my grandson."

The judge didn't address support, and there are two aspects to that case: What Tiffany could receive from the state and what she could receive from Mirasolo in child support. By law, she's entitled to the larger amount, so they might have to return to court for another hearing so the judge can rule on that.

Community shocked by controversial case

A protest outside the courthouse doesn't represent a typical day in the quiet community of Sandusky.

Residents aren't used to having Sandusky in the national spotlight.

The controversial case has been a topic of conversation around the community for months. For the people who live there, the people involved aren't just names, they're neighbors, which makes it painful for everyone.

You can watch Steve Garagiola's full story on the Sandusky community in the video posted below:

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