Hey I’ve got a great idea for a sitcom. A guy rapes a girl of 14, see, and makes her pregnant, and she has the baby and her mother has to quit her job to take care of the baby. Good so far, right? Then – this is where it gets really funny – a judge decides to give jurisdiction to family court, so the girl is stuck with him for the next sixteen years! Hilarious or what?
The rape victim doesn’t think so.
“The plaintiff, a rape victim in a state criminal matter, became pregnant in 2009 at age 14 as a result of the crime and gave birth to her attacker’s child,” the lawsuit states.
“The defendant in the state criminal proceeding, age 20 at the time of the impregnation, was convicted of rape in 2011 and was sentenced to 16 years probation. Conditions of probation include an order that he initiate proceedings in family court and comply with that court’s orders until the child reaches adulthood. The plaintiff here seeks to enjoin enforcement of so much of the state court’s order as violates her federal rights by binding her to an unwanted 16-year legal relationship with her rapist.”
H.T., who recently graduated from high school, says the order forces her to participate in unwanted court proceedings for 16 years with the man who raped her, and to spend money on legal fees.
In June 2012, H.T. found out that Melendez was seeking visitation rights with the child.
After a family court judge ordered Melendez to pay $110 a week in child support, he Melendez asked for visitation rights, and offered to withdraw his request in exchange for not having to pay child support, according to the lawsuit.
“Melendez had no prior contact with the child and had expressed no interest in the child, but no Massachusetts law forbids the enforcement of visitation rights by a biological father who causes a child’s birth through the crime of rape,” the complaint states.
The law is an ass.