A Michigan man who sexually assaulted a woman when she was 12 and got her pregnant has been granted joint custody of the now-8-year-old boy by a judge.
Christopher Michael Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City, was awarded joint legal custody of the boy by Sanilac County Judge Gregory S. Ross, according to the Detroit News. Ross granted him rights to the child after a DNA test proved he was the boy’s biological father.
The woman is seeking recourse through the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 25.
Rebecca Kiessling, an attorney for the boy’s mother, told the News that Ross gave Mirasolo her client’s home address and ordered that his name be added to the boy’s birth certificate without her client’s consent. There was no hearing on the matter prior to the ruling, Kiessling said.
“An assistant prosecutor on this, Eric Scott, told me she had granted her consent, which was a lie,” Kiessling said. “She has never been asked to do this, and certainly never signed anything.”
Kiessling said her client was also told she cannot move more than 100 miles without the prior consent of the court.
WDIV-TV reported that the case was prompted when the boy’s mother applied for state aid. At that time, Scott filed a motion to establish the boy’s paternity and collect child support on his behalf.
Mirasolo’s attorney, Barbara Yockey, said her client had nothing to do with the motion.
“Chris was notified of the paternity matter and an order of filiation was issued last month by the court, saying he had joint legal custody and reasonable visitation privileges,” Yockey told the News. “He never initiated this.”
The now-21-year-old mother, who was not identified by the media because she is a sexual assault victim, said the situation is “crazy.”
“They never explained anything to me,” the woman told the News. “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.”
She told WDIV-TV that she’s now faced with the possibility that the man who assaulted her will be allowed time with her son.
“He was conceived out of rape, but I don’t look at that,” the woman told the television station. “He’s my child. He’s a part of me, not a part of him. I hope he never has any rights to him at all.”
Yockey said she does not know if her client wishes to have a relationship with the boy.
Mirasolo was accused of forcibly raping the victim and threatening to kill her in September 2008, when she was 12 and he was 18. She, her 13-year-old sister and a friend sneaked out of the house one night to meet a boy and the boy’s older friend.
That friend was Mirasolo, who asked the girls if they wanted to go for a ride, Kiessling told the News.
“They thought they were going to McDonald’s or somewhere,” Kiessling said. “Instead, he tossed their cellphones away, drove to Detroit, where he stole gas from a station, and then drove back to Sanilac County, where he kept them captive for two days in a vacant house near a relative.”
Mirasolo was arrested about a month after the attack. He faced 25 years to life in prison, but was given a plea deal in which he was convicted of attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Sentenced to a year in jail, Mirasolo served just six months before being released early to care for his sick mother, Kiessling told the News.
“(My client) and her family (were) told first-time sex offenders weren’t sent to prison because people come out worse after they go there,” the attorney told the newspaper.
Mirasolo did serve prison time in a second case from 2010, in which he was convicted of sexually assaulting a second victim between the ages of 13 and 15. Kiessling said he served four years in that case.
Mirasolo is listed as a Tier 3 offender on the Michigan State Police’s sex offender registry.
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