Rapist's paternity rights locks his victim into a 16-year relationship with him.
According to reports by Alternet.org, rape victim, referred to as H.T., was impregnated by her attacker in 2009 at just age 14. She's currently suing Massachussets to stop the "court ordered 16 year unwanted relationship" that's mandating that her attacker be a part of her life for parental reasons.
"Melendez pleaded guilty to rape in September, 2011 (Norfolk Criminal Docket No . CR200900499) and was sentenced to probation for 16 years. As a condition of probation, Melendez was ordered to initiate proceedings in family court, declare paternity as to the child born of his crime, (paternity had already been determined in the criminal case, via DNA testing), and comply with the family court's orders throughout the probationary period. H.T. and her family adamantly expressed discontent with the family court proceedings but to no avail.
But it gets worse.
In June 2012, H.T. found out that her attacker, Jamie Melendez, was seeking visitation rights. "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.
After a family court judge ordered Melendez to pay $110 a week in child support, Melendez asked for visitation rights, and offered to withdraw his request in exchange for not having to pay child support, according to the lawsuit.
The request was denied.
H.T. asked that the judge review his decision and in addition to, free her from all obligation to be present at meetings involving her rapist. Her requests were sent to family court, denied again, thus continuing the mandatory family court proceedings.
"An estimated 35,000 babies are born from rape every year," the complaint states. "No state court has ever issued an order such as the one at issue here. Granting the plaintiff's requested relief will inhibit state court judges in Massachusetts and elsewhere from similarly depriving rape victims of their liberty, personal autonomy and due process."
H.T. is still seeking annulment of the order, but to date has yet to be successful.
What would you do?