SANDUSKY, Mich. (WWJ) – A judge had rescinded his order that gave a convicted sex offender custody of a child born to a woman who he raped when she was 12.
Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross ruled Tuesday that 27-year-old Christopher Mirasolo, a convicted sex offender, won’t have any parental rights in connection to the 8-year-old boy — but he’s still on the hook for child support.
The case unfolded when the now 21-year-old mother sought state food assistance for her 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 confirmed paternity Ross last month granted Mirasolo joint legal custody of the boy — a decision the mother’s attorney called “insane” — and ordered him to pay monthly child support.
Ross quickly put the order on hold after learning Mirasolo had two previous criminal sexual conduct convictions, including one concerning the boy’s mother (for which he spent than a year behind bars) and another concerning a 14-year-old girl.
The case made headlines, drawing condemnation from across the nation.
“The question everyone is asking is, ‘How can a judge do such a thing?’,” Ross acknowledged at Tuesday’s hearing. “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 a result.”
Although he did not explicitly apologize for his mistake, the judge did express sympathy for the mother.
“I feel bad for the plaintiff, who has been thrust into the spotlight,” Ross said. “She is a victim; she should not have to go through this process. I am sensitive to the rights of victims.”
Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950 last week, Mirasolo’s lawyer stressed that her client never sought custody of the boy.
“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,” Barbara Yockey said. “He did not pursue this. This was something that was entered by the court.”
Yockey said Mirasolo also agreed not to contact the mother.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.