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‘I don't understand’: Woman whose rapist was given joint custody of her child fights the decision

A woman is fighting back after a Michigan judge granted joint legal custody of her 8-year-old son to her rapist. (Image source: CBS News screenshot)

A woman is fighting back after a Michigan judge granted joint legal custody of her 8-year-old son to her rapist, according to CBS News.

What happened?

The Detroit News recently reported that Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross granted parenting time and joint legal custody of the child to Christopher Mirasolo, 27. Mirasolo is a registered sex offender in Michigan, according to WWJ-TV. He is reportedly the child’s biological father.

CBS News reported that the judge put the order on hold Tuesday after discovering Mirasolo's background and a hearing is scheduled for later this month.

What did she say?

The woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Tiffany, told CBS News on Wednesday that Mirasolo raped her in 2008 when she was just 12 years old. She became pregnant from the attack.

"I don't understand why they thought they needed to give him joint legal custody. He was my rapist," Tiffany, now 21, said.

Tiffany said Mirasolo attacked her in an abandoned house near Detroit.

"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," she said.

CBS reported that following a plea deal, Mirasolo served just  6 1/2 months in jail for the attack. He served additional time after he was convicted of raping another minor in 2010.

Tiffany said the legal ordeal began when she sought state aid for her son.

"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.

She said she has "flashbacks" when she sees her attacker’s face or hears his name.

According to CBS, the Sanilac County prosecutor's office said it issued Tiffany a standard order that is used in all paternity cases . The form required her to name the child’s father.

Tiffany's attorney Rebecca Kiessling told CBS that the case exposes the troubling way states can treat rape victims who request aid.

"There's no policy," Kiessling said. “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.”

Tiffany called the request "crazy."

"I have been taking care of him 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," Tiffany said.

According to CBS, attorneys for Tiffany and Mirasolo said they are working to reach a settlement. The Sanilac County prosecutor's office said it will conduct an internal review of how such cases are handled.

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