Why Was a Convicted Rapist Granted Child Custody He Never Asked for?

In 2008, then 18-year-old Christopher Mirasolo kidnapped three teenage girls and kept them in an empty house for two days. During this time, at least two of the girls were raped — and one, identified only as Tiffany, became pregnant.

Mirasolo was arrested a month after the assault, which could have carried a life sentence, or at least 25 years in prison. Instead, he accepted a plea deal for attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to only a year in county jail.

Despite the fact that he raped two children, Mirasolo served only six months in jail. Tiffany’s family was told “first-time offenders weren’t sent to prison because people come out worse after they go there.”

Mirasolo then went on to rape another child and served only another four years.

This part of the story, as horrific as it is, is at least clear. The most recent events are where things start to become muddled.

This story began gaining national and international attention after Detroit News reported that a judge had granted Mirasolo joint custody over the child, despite a 2016 Michigan law preventing such cases.

According to Michigan law:

If child custody is contested, then custody and parenting time shall not be awarded to men who fathered through rape. However, the rapist father’s rights cannot be terminated unless child custody is first in dispute.

Detroit News later wrote that the judge had stayed the “controversial ruling” and ordered a hearing for the following week. The next day, Mlive reported that the Sanilac County prosecutor’s office stated that joint custody had never been granted and was never in question, although “parenting time and visitation rights were in contention.”

However, Detroit News has continued reporting on the evolving case and maintains that joint custody was initially granted — and that the judge did not know the biological father was a convicted sex offender.

“The judge also restricted the child’s domicile and residence, disclosed the rape victim’s home address to her rapist, and ordered his name on the birth certificate – all without the mother’s consent or any opportunity to be heard,” said Rebecca Kiessling, the victim’s attorney.

Perhaps the strangest part of the care is that Mirasolo never sought custody of the child in the first place, and the victim was never consulted regarding custody. So how did this even happen?

The custody problem started because, in order to receive government assistance, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services required Tiffany to confirm the paternity of her child and seek child support.

“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,” Tiffany told CBS.

After a DNA test confirmed that Mirasolo is the child’s father, it seems the prosecutor’s office filed a motion on Mirasolo’s behalf — one that neither he nor Tiffany ever wanted. The court then followed their standard procedures without giving the case a second thought until it began making headlines.

“It is against the law for the prosecutor to get involved in parental rights and custody matters,” said Kiessling. “That’s not their job. Their job is to prosecute and protect people, not further victimize them.”

The prosecutor’s office will be reviewing their internal policies and procedures, but the problem is more widespread. Michigan law is supposed to prevent situations like this, but even on a national scale, victims in need of government assistance continue to fall through the cracks.

“There’s no policy. 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,” said Kiessling.

Disturbingly, seven states – North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Alabama, Maryland and Mississippi — do not have a law to prevent rapists from seeking parental rights and custody.

Mirasolo has agreed to pay child support and waive all other parental rights.

Photo Credit: Michigan Department of Corrections

76 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Melania P
Melania P4 months ago

Rapers should have no rights, period. This is shameful

SEND
Chad A
Chad A7 months ago

This is sick on multiple levels.

SEND
Kathleen E
Kathleen England7 months ago

I think the judge should be locked up in a straight jacket!

SEND
Karen H
Karen H7 months ago

What's to stop the rapist from raping the victim again, or raping his own offspring? Our "justice" system needs a serious overhaul. Incidents like this prove how men in power view women, especially victims of rape. Most of our lawmakers think, "It's only rape" and equate it with having sex and later regretting it. God help any female relative of these cold-hearted men because they'll have no sympathy at all.

SEND
Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O7 months ago

Oh, I signed and am still in shock for the distressing consequences for this innocent child and his precious mother and family. How dare this idiotic Judge rule on this without having all the facts... I though that was what a good judge would want? He needs to go and so too the other uncompassionate fools that started this horror. Fire the lot of them, and find out how many others have been treated in this manner. Fix your system now, and put all sex offenders in jail for a min of 20 years before any consideration of bail is contemplated.

SEND
One Heart i
One Heart inc8 months ago

Thanks!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABVKIPk_u0

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie s8 months ago

Disgusting

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie s8 months ago

Disgusting

SEND
Jaime J
Jaime J8 months ago

Thank you!!

SEND