Victim Forced to Share Custody With Man Who Raped Her When She Was 12

Michigan Department of Corrections

This post has been updated to include recent developments in the ongoing case. 

The thought of rapists being granted rights to the children they forcibly conceived sounds absolutely heinous. Unfortunately, it is also a surprisingly common practice. In multiple states across the US, rapists have some chance of being allowed parental rights to children conceived with their victims. In a horrifying case in Michigan, one man has just been granted joint custody of a child whose mother he raped when she was only 12 years old.


According to the unnamed victim's attorney Rebecca Kiessling, nine years ago, now-27-year-old Christopher Mirasolo violently raped and threatened to kill her client, who was only 12 years old at the time. As a result of that assault, the girl was impregnated and went on to give birth to a little boy who is now 8 years old.

For his crime, then-18-year-old Mirasolo was given a plea deal that allowed him to be charged with only attempted third-degree criminal sexual misconduct. The man was sentenced to one year in county jail, but he was released early after serving just six and a half months so he could care for his sick mother. In March 2010, Mirasolo was charged with raping another victim between the ages of 13 and 15, and was again released after serving only four years for his crime.

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Now, despite his record, a Sanilac County Circuit judge has officially granted the man joint legal custody of the child he conceived with his first victim. Even more upsetting, the victim claims she had no idea a custody case had even been opened.

According to her attorney, the case was opened by the county after they surveyed the victim regarding child support she had received in the past year. The judge presiding over the case, Gregory S. Ross, released the victim's address to Mirasolo and ordered the man's name to be put on the child's birth certificate. All of this was done without the woman's consent or even a formal hearing with her present. "An assistant prosecutor on this, Eric Scott, told me she had granted her consent, which was a lie -- she has never been asked to do this and certainly never signed anything," Kiessling told the Detroit News.

In addition, the victim has been told by the courts that she is not permitted to "move more than 100 miles from where she had been living when the case was filed, without court consent." If she disobeys this ruling, prosecutors could hold her in contempt of court.

While the victim did not wish to go in depth about her case, she spoke briefly to the Detroit News, saying, "I think this is all crazy. They [the officials] never explained anything to me. I was receiving about $260 a month in food stamps for me and my son and health insurance for him. I guess they were trying to see how to get some of the money back."

As for Mirasolo, his attorney, Barbara Yockey, told the Detroit News she isn't sure what type of involvement Mirasolo will have in the child's life in the future, as he had no part in the custody case either. "Chris was notified of the paternity matter and an order of filiation was issued last month by the court saying he had joint legal custody and reasonable visitation privileges," she said. "He never initiated this. It was something routinely done by the prosecutor’s office when a party makes application for state assistance."

Currently, seven states in the country do not have any laws protecting the parental rights of mothers who conceive during rape. In 2016, Michigan passed a law allowing courts to revoke parental rights if they had evidence that the child was conceived as the result of a sexual assault.

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Kiessling is currently seeking protection for the victim and her child under the Federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. They have a hearing scheduled later this month on October 25.

We can only hope that the act -- which allows mothers to seek the termination of parental rights for their children conceived during sexual assaults -- will work in their favor.



UPDATE: On October 18, 2017, Judge rescinds order forcing mom to share custody of son with her rapist

After coming under fire for forcing a young mother to share joint custody of her son with the man who raped her at 12-year-old, a Michigan judge has decided to rescind the order, resulting in the rapist being ordered to have zero contact with the child or his mother. 

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