SANDUSKY, Mich. (WWJ) – A woman who was brought into a national spotlight after a judge awarded joint custody of her child to the man who raped her, has been told she will no longer receive food stamps because of a Go Fund Me account.
The woman, now 21, was raped when she was 12-years-old and became pregnant. Earlier this year, she sought state food assistance for her now 8-year-old son. As a condition of receiving assistance, the state required that she cooperate in pursuing paternity verification and financial support from the child’s father. When a DNA test in September confirmed paternity to the woman’s rapist, Christopher Mirasolo, a judge granted the man joint legal custody of the boy and ordered him to pay monthly child support. Last month, the judge rescinded the custody order saying he didn’t know Mirasolo raped the woman and the child was born as a result.
As the custody battle was playing out, the case sparked outrage and drew worldwide attention from the public, and a Go Fund Me account was created to assist the woman and her child. The account raised more than $100,000 — and the state took notice of that.
This week, the woman says she was contacted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which informed her she would no longer receive food and healthcare benefits for her son, roughly $300 a month. The department cited the GoFundMe account along with the now-suspended custody and child support agreement, according to The Detroit News.
The woman said she had planned on using the money to try to better her family’s future.
“We were hoping to use the GoFundMe account to buy a house but looks like now that isn’t going to happen,” she told the newspaper. “We are going to have to live on the money and rent.”
Attorney Rebecca Kiessling says the woman has no other source of income and has received no financial support from Mirasolo. She’s hoping to work out a settlement on all support issues with Mirasolo’s attorney.
“There is no agreement or order for child support at this time,” Kiessling told the newspaper. “(Mirasolo) has never paid a dime to her or for child support in nine years. Now his attorney claims he has no income, so I guess that means she cannot not expect any future help as well. … It’s like she is getting raped again.”
Mirasolo, for his part, is not asking for any custody or parenting time with the child.
“He is agreeing to not see the child; he’s not asking to see the child; he’s never asked to see the child; I’ve never filed a motion to request that he be able to see the child,” attorney Barbara Yockey previously told WWJ. “He did not pursue this. This was something that was entered by the court.”