A twice convicted rapist was awarded joint legal custody of the child born to a woman he raped when the victim was only 12 years old.
Judge Gregory S. Ross ruled that the rapist, Christopher Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City, Michigan, is entitled to parental rights after DNA testing established paternity, according to the victim’s attorney, Rebecca Kiessling.
The Detroit News reported that a hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.
“This is insane,” said Kiessling, according to the newspaper. “Nothing has been right about this since it was originally investigated. He was never properly charged and should still be sitting behind bars somewhere, but the system is victimizing my client, who was a child herself when this all happened.”
The judge disclosed the rape victim’s address to Mirasolo and ordered Mirasolo’s name to be added to the child’s birth certificate — all without the victim’s consent or a hearing, according to Kiessling.
Mirasolo is a convicted sex offender who spent six months in prison after he raped the child’s mother nine years ago, despite allegations that he also threatened her life, Mirasolo spent four more years in prison for sexually assaulting another victim, a 13-year-old girl.
Ross is a district court judge for the 73A District Court and the Probate Court in Sanilac County, a heavily Republican area in eastern Michigan. President Donald Trump got 69.9 percent of the vote there.
Ross was re-elected unopposed in 2014, for a six-year term expiring on December 31, 2020.
The victim, now 21, and her attorney say the case was prompted after the county surveyed her about child support she’d received during the past year.
“I think this is all crazy,” the victim told the newspaper. “They never explained anything to me. I was receiving about $260 a month in food stamps for me and my son and health insurance for him. I guess they were trying to see how to get some of the money back.”
That was all done without the victim’s consent, according to Kiessling, who filed objections to Ross’ order and is seeking a protection for her client and her 8-year-old son under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act.
Mirasalo was 18 when raped, impregnated and threatened to kill the victim in September 2008.
“She, her 13-year-old sister and a friend all slipped out of their house one night to meet a boy and the boy’s older friend, Mirasolo, showed up and asked if they wanted to go for a ride,” Kiessling said. “They thought they were going to McDonald’s or somewhere.
Instead, the attorney said, Mirasolo tossed their cell phones and kept the girls captive for two days in a vacant house, and he was arrested a month later — when her client was pregnant.
Mirasolo was sentenced to one year in the county jail after accepting a plea deal on third-degree criminal sexual assault, but he was released after just six and a half months to care for his sick mother.
“(The victim) and her family (were) told first-time sex offenders weren’t sent to prison because people come out worse after they go there,” Kiessling said.
Mirasolo was convicted again of assaulting a teen between 13 and 15 years old in March 2010, but he served only four years for the second rape.
Mirasolo’s attorney told the newspaper the case was initiated by county officials. The rapist learned that he was granted joint legal custody and visitation privileges by the prosecutor’s office.
“I don’t know what his plans or intentions might be regarding any future relationship with the child,” said attorney Barbara Yockey. “This might be something we will have a conversation about, but he has not been served with any other court papers and is not scheduled to be in court.”
Yockey indicated that Sanilac County Prosecutor James V. Young, a Republican who was re-elected in 2016, may have started the proceeding in order to deny the mother and her child food stamps and health insurance.
Young, a Republican who was re-elected in 2016, in a campaign with special emphasis on his concern for victims’ rights, child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
The victim, who dropped out of school and went to live with relatives out of state, was ordered to return to Michigan. The mother is not allowed to move more than 100 miles from where she had been living when the case was filed without court consent.
If she does not comply, she may be held in contempt of court.
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