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Judge in controversial custody case says he didn’t know the father was a convicted rapist

A Michigan judge, who granted a convicted rapist joint custody of the victim’s 8-year-old son, said he wasn’t aware of the man’s background. When he found out, the judge reportedly cut his vacation short to suspend the custody. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

A Michigan judge who granted a convicted rapist joint custody of the victim’s 8-year-old son said he wasn’t aware of the man’s background, according to the Detroit News.

What happened?

According to multiple reports, a Michigan judge granted parenting time and joint legal custody of an 8-year-old boy to Christopher Mirasolo, 27, a registered sex offender in Michigan. He is reportedly the boy’s biological father. The boy’s mother said that she became pregnant when Mirasolo raped her in 2008 when she was just 12 years old.

What did the judge say?

Michigan Supreme Court spokesman John Nevin told MLive.com that the case was presented to Sanilac County Probate Judge Gregory S. Ross as “a simple paternity judgment” in which both parties were in agreement when he issued his ruling last month.

"It was presented to the judge as such, without any background whatsoever, and it was stipulated that both parties agreed to the order," Nevin said. "This person is the father, this person is the child and the father agrees to pay child support."

Nevin said when Ross discovered Mirasolo’s criminal history, he cut his vacation short to suspend the custody.

"He was supposed to be off this week, but once of these details came out, he wanted to make sure it was addressed," Nevin said. "I think the judge is just as upset about what happened as many other people are."

What did the victim say?

The woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Tiffany, told CBS News “I don’t understand why they thought they needed to give him joint legal custody.”

“He was my rapist,” said Tiffany, now 21.

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

Tiffany’s attorney Rebecca Kiessling, told the Detroit News that she is seeking protection for her client under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act.

Why was a convicted rapist granted custody of a child?

Tiffany said the legal ordeal began after she sought state aid for her young 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.

Is the rapist seeking custody of the child?

Mirasolo reportedly did not seek custody of the child. His lawyer, Barbara Yockey, told the Times Herald the issue will be resolved privately.

"He's not going to attempt to see the child, no," Yockey said.

One last thing…
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