Under normal circumstances, divorced parents should have to share custody with one another. It's what's best for the kids. But when a judge awards sole custody of a 6-year-old girl to a convicted sex offender, a man who went to prison for molesting a (different) 6-year-old girl, all bets are off.
I think I'd run far, far, far away (with my child, of course).
I wouldn't blame Lisa Knight, a mom whose ex-husband (and registered sex offender), Nicholas Elizondo, just took her to court over visitation with their 6-year-old daughter, if she did the same.
Elizondo, who lives in California, challenged Knight in an Oklahoma court recently, claiming she wasn't granting him his visits with the girl. The judge took his side.
And I'm not talking about forcing the visitation. The Oklahoma City judge (Knight and the little girl have resided in Oklahoma since the couple divorced in 2008 when she was pregnant) gave Elizondo full custody, despite the fact that a quick search of the California sex offender registry pulls up his name and lists a conviction for "lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age," despite the fact that Elizondo was convicted of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old stepdaughter back in the '90s.
Of a child.
To a convicted pedophile!
Yeah, yeah, Dad served his time and he is the 6-year-old's biological father. But whose rights are more important here? Dad's or the little girl's?
Isn't that the point of custody hearings? To decide what is in a child's best interest?
It can't be "what's good for a child" to let a sex offender who is known to have hurt children take them home. That's the point of registries of these creeps; to let us know who shouldn't be around our kids so we can keep them apart.
Even putting a guy like this alone in the room with a 6-year-old girl is risking that child's well-being. If you were a mother who hired a sex offender to babysit your kid, you'd likely be looking at child endangerment charges (or worse).
So what's a mom to do when a sex offender gets custody?
Again, I'll admit it. I'd run. I'd take my child, and I'd skip town and never, ever come back.
I'd do anything to keep my child from a sex offender, even if that sex offender is her own father.
Because my child's right to be protected is more important than his to be a father.
What would you do if you were this mother? Would you follow the court's orders?
Image via Megan's Law