DETROIT (WWJ) – A decision by a Michigan judge to award a convicted rapist joint custody of a child conceived from the rape has many questioning that decision — but the mother’s attorney is laying blame on the prosecution.
In 2008, Christopher Mirasolo struck a deal and pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct in the third degree for raping a 12-year-old girl, who wound up pregnant from the assault. He served six-and-a-half months of a year-long sentence and was released. Recently, Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross granted parenting time and joint legal custody of the child to Mirasolo.
Attorney Rebecca Kiessling, who represents the now 21-year-old mother, said the prosecutor is to blame for not charging the rapist father appropriately back in 2008.
“I met with him face to face and he just kept saying ‘We did nothing wrong,’ and that was assistant prosecutor Eric Scott who, really, was quite a jerk to me,” said Kiessling. “He was really one of her tormentors right from the beginning. The prosecutor treated her like she did something wrong because she left her home with her sister that night, because she got in his car. But that doesn’t mean that she wanted to be abducted and held for two days and raped.”
Kiessling said the girl was actually hit with six different charges when she was found; treated like a criminal instead of a sexual assault victim.
“This prosecutor did her wrong in so many ways when they knew she was pregnant to only charge him with attempted rape. Everybody asked me, ‘How can it be attempted when she’s pregnant?’ and that’s exactly right. This prosecutor is really not a good person, I’ll tell you that,” she said.
The prosecution should have made a motion, Kissling said, to terminate Mirasolo’s rights immediately after the rape.
“He’s a child molester. She was only 12-years-old. Any rapist is unfit to be a parent, as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “A rape victim should not have to be connected to her rapist in that way. She deserves to be protected, the child deserves to be protected.”
Kiessling, who herself was conceived during a rape, said she’s currently in negotiations to settle the case under Michigan’s Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, which was passed last year.
“We want a finding from the court that this child was conceived as a result of non-consensual sexual penetration, which is what the statute says under the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. I want that finding, my client wants that finding, to be vindicated by the court,” she said. ” We’re going to settle it. It’s just a matter of coming to terms, because I have to make sure that my client is absolutely fully protected and that he never, ever, ever has to see this child.”
A hearing is set for Oct. 25. WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton said he thinks the case will go in favor of Kiessling and the mother.
“The prosecutor back in 2008 should have terminated the parental rights of the rapist father at that time. That would be a normal, logical situation that would have happened and does happen — but it didn’t happen in this case,” said Langton. “Under this new law, if it’s proved that the child was conceived during a rape, then the father’s rights are automatically terminated. And that is what this hearing will decide later this month.”
Calls for comment from assistant prosecutor Scott have not been returned.