Rape is the most personal and devastating thing that could happen to any female, especially a young girl. It’s more than just a crime of sexual assault, it often robs the victim of self-esteem, self-worth and security. Many rape victims end up having difficulty maintaining a marital relationship. If they get married, the marriage often ends due to the mental and emotional trauma caused by the rape. Rape victims often have nightmares for years.
When a young girl is raped, she doesn’t trust any male figure including father, grandfather, brother, uncle and cousins. They often withdraw from any kind of social life and suicide is not all that uncommon as they just cannot live with what happened to them.
Then to make it worse, the legal system often does its best to vilify the rape victim and make it look like it was their fault. The rapist’s attorney digs into every aspect of the victim’s life, exposing secrets and many embarrassing things the victim doesn’t want anyone to know about. I once heard a rape victim say that the trial of her rapist was more personally invading, humiliating and violating than the actual rape. This is why some rape victims never report their rape to authorities because they can’t bear the thought of going through a public trial.
In September 2008, Christopher Mirasolo, then 18-years-old, and a friend held a 12-year-old girl and her 13-year-old sister captive for two days, while raping the girls. The 12-year-old girl got pregnant and had a baby boy. Approximately 5% of rape victims between ages of 12 to 45, become pregnant as a result of being raped.
Fortunately, she did report the rape and Mirasolo was charged with first-degree rape, a felony in Michigan. However, Mirasolo got a plea deal from the county prosecutor’s office, allowing him to plead guilty to a lesser charge of attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Mirasolo was sentenced to only 1 year in the county jail, but only served six and a half months. He was released early to help take care of his sick mother.
In 2010, Mirasolo was again arrested for sexually assaulting a minor between the ages of 13 and 15. For this crime, he was sentenced to 4 years in jail and has to register as a sexual offender. Mirasolo, was released from jail in 2012.
In the meantime, the girl who got pregnant as a result of being raped by Mirasolo, filed for state aid to help with child support. Had she known what that would lead to, she probably would have never filed.
Supposedly, according to Michigan law, once the young mother filed for state support, they automatically began custody procedures for the father. A DNA test was ordered by the courts and it proved that Mirasolo was the father of the boy, who is now 8-years-old.
Judge Gregory Ross ruled that Mirasolo does have parental rights to the boy and granted him partial custody. Additionally, he ordered that Mirasolo’s name be added to the boy’s birth certificate and he was provided with home address of his rape victim, the mother of the boy, who had since moved to Florida. Then the court ordered the rape victim and her son move back to Michigan.
Rebecca Kiessling, the rape victim’s attorney has already filed an appeal to counter Ross’s ruling. She claims that her client is protected by the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. The problem is that Mirasolo was never convicted of rape, which would have terminated any parental rights. The lesser charge he was allowed to plead to would allow him to obtain parental rights.
Kiessling and her client feel that the system is once again making her the victim and punishing her for being raped.
Obviously, there is something seriously wrong with the system. In the first place, the county prosecutor should never have offered a plea deal to a lesser charge, knowing what could be at stake later on. If Mirasolo had been convicted of first-degree rape, he should have still been in jail in 2010 meaning his next victim would not have been a victim.
The system protected the criminal and gave him more rights than his victim and this is wrong and must be changed. The public should be outraged and demand that lawmakers change the laws to protect the victims, not the criminal.