Traumatized Woman Whose Rapist Was Granted Joint Custody Speaks Out About 'Crazy' Decision

“I don’t understand why they thought they needed to give him joint legal custody. He was my rapist."

The woman whose rapist was given joint custody of their child has spoken out about the ruling. After the mother applied for state benefits, a Michigan judge signed an order, without the victim’s knowledge, to allow Christopher Mirasolo joint custody of their son. Mirasolo, 27, has been convicted of rape twice, according to the Independent. The victim in this case was raped when she was just 12 and when Mirasolo was 19. Mirasolo took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to MLive. He spent a year in jail.

The woman’s lawyer called the ruling insane.

“The judge also restricted the child’s domicile and residence, disclosed the rape victim’s home address to her rapist, and ordered his name on the birth certificate – all without the mother’s consent or any opportunity to be heard,” Rebecca Kiessling told Detroit News.

The woman, now 21, has not disclosed her full name but went on camera, calling herself Tiffany.

“I don’t understand why they thought they needed to give him joint legal custody. He was my rapist,” she told CBS News: “I was kidnapped for two days. I didn’t know if I was ever going to go home. He threatened to kill me and my best friend if we told anyone... I have been taking care of [my son] for eight years. I gave up high school, I gave up prom, I gave up my friends to raise a baby and go to work.”

She was raped in 2008 and told CBS she still suffers from flashbacks when she hears Mirasolo’s name.

"I was receiving government assistance and they told me if I did not tell them who the father was of my child, that they would take that away from me," she said, adding that the thinks the request is “crazy.”

The Sanilac County Prosecutor's office denies that joint custody was given in this case.
"The order further awarded the mother sole physical custody of the minor child," Sanilac County Prosecutor James V. Young wrote in a press release, stating that parenting time and visitation rights were the focus.  "The order is clear that, if the mother does not want the father to have visitation, she does not have to provide it."

Barbara Yockey, Mirasolo’s attorney, said her client never asked for custody.

"The prosecutor has the job to pursue the dad to establish that he is the father and to collect child support," Yockey said. "The prosecutor contacted him. My client cooperated and got the DNA testing that established he was the father. Child support was set and he is paying child support."

Kiessling said this case demonstrates some of the problems with how courts across America treat rape victims who request aid.

"There's no policy. I've had rape victims who were cut off from state aid because they couldn't name the rapist because they were abducted by a stranger or because a sex trafficker kidnapped them and raped them," she said.

[Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections]

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