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When What's "Right And Legal" Doesn't Equal Justice
Recently, I came across an article that absolutely blew my mind. Not just bothered me, not just upset me: it made me mad to a point that I could not calm down quickly. What was it?
That a person convicted of the act of rape can have parental rights.
Yes, you read that right: they can have parental rights to the child they created via the crime.
What in the hell is wrong with our country?
Perhaps you already knew about this; I didn't. I was not aware of the case where a 20 year old man forcibly had sex a 14 year old girl. The girl became pregnant as a result of the act. She ended up having the child and the attacker was ordered to pay $110 per week for Child Support. The attacker had plead guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 16 years of PROBATION!!! Yes, he did not even go to jail for the assault a 14 year old girl. Where did this occur? Massachusetts.
The attacker then sought to gain visitation rights to the child of the attack. And he was granted this based upon the wrong thinking Supreme Court decision that people such as this are still a Father in the eyes of the law.
A 16 year old girl was visiting family when a young man came over to visit the family. She did something she shouldn't have done (drink and try pot) and passed out. When she woke up, she was being forcibly attacked. She found later that she was pregnant and told her parents. They went to the Police Station and was told that it was too late to press charges against the man (it had been six weeks).
She became a mother and when she applied for assistance, the state sued the father for Child Support. She tried to undo what she had started but before she could, the attacker filed to gain his parental rights.
So I ask you: when does the right of a person like this, a criminal, outweigh the right of a victim? When does that victim have the power to remove this stain from her life permanently, to protect her child from the man who violently attacked her, to not be forced to relive that moment time and time again every time she sees this person? If you ask Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming, whether a victim of this type of attack has the right to not allow the attacker to see the child, they will answer no. In their eyes why should a man like this not have the right to see a child from an attack, to continue to haunt a girl or woman over and over again? Why should they not be a part of the child's life? But I ask you: how is that Justice? How can a system that is supposedly there to protect a victim allow that victim to be assaulted again and again, every time they are forced to hand their child over to them for their "court appointed visit"?
Again I ask: how is that Justice?
Each year, there are over 30,000 pregnancies that are directly associated with rape. Some two thirds are terminated yet about a third of these women give birth. Some of these women use the pregnancy as a means to get over the pain and humiliation of the rape, with the child then becoming the cure. And in so doing, in the states mentioned above the attacker could have the right to gain access to the child and thereby continue to haunt his victim.
- Michael J. Russo - Ballotpedia
Ballotpedia is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professionally curated encyclopedia designed to connect people to politics and elections at the local, state and federal level.
In Ohio, a judge denied a request for a kidnap and rape victim to halt the visitation of a 6 year old girl fathered during a time when the victim was held in captivity for years on end, raped repeatedly and ended up having a child. Per the judge...
"I think it would be inappropriate" for the visitation to be halted said Cuyahoga County Judge Micheal Russo in 2013. Even for a man who pled guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape. According to the law, he still had the right to see this child, while the victim had no right to halt it.
How is this judge still a judge? He currently has a term which runs through 2020, having been re-elected in 2014. And while he eventually sentenced this man to in excess of 1,000 years in prison for the actions taken against three young women, he still allowed him to have the right of visitation prior to entering jail for the rest of his life.
How was this even possible? Because the state had no laws to not allow it; common sense wasn't enough to keep a person who kidnapped three women and held them for up to twelve years before they were rescued away from the child. The law is the law, and until this man was proven guilty he had the right to visit a child such as this.
Now, THIS is Justice!
I also read an article where a murderer serving not one, not two, but three life sentences was requesting an early parole. 57 year old Timothy Pauly went before the Parole Board to convince them that after serving 35 years he should be extended an early release. What were his crimes? In 1980 he played a part in three murders committed during a robbery when he and an accomplice killed two men and a women at a SeaTac tavern. The woman was raped and left hanging by her neck from a railing. The two men were tied up and placed in a cooler then shot in the head by Pauly.
Convicted of three counts of First Degree Murder and sentenced to three life sentences, two of which as to run consecutively, Pauly finished his first murder term after only 18 years. He was requesting to be released on parole in 2018 in the hearing when the board threw a curve ball to him.
Rather than an early release, they added twenty years to his terms. That's right, they ADDED years to his prison sentence. Good for them!
Now he can't be released until 2031.
While writing this, I noticed that before the second paragraph was completed an announcement was made to me that this Hub would not be eligible for advertising. Not that I care, but really, why should a true story, one rooted in right and wrong, one telling the world about an injustice like this not be eligible? Because of the topic it is dealing with? Because it lists the word rape? Is it me or is this somewhat hypocritical? How is this offensive? I have read and seen other articles that are, to me, highly offensive, using extremely vulgar language yet they do not appear to be censored. And that is what this appears to be to me: censored because of the topic. How are we to right these injustices if we are not allowed to write about them? Just asking...
I ended up going back through the article and removed several words which the site deemed inappropriate. My thoughts were that by doing this it might allow more people to see it on this site. If I didn't, Hubpages might remove it from consideration of being published and I really want this type of wrong to be known by all so it can be corrected.
I just checked back and found that a "moderator" found objectionable material within this hub. How strange; I find the facts of this entire situation to be objectionable. I find that laws which protect the rights of criminals above those who are their victims to be objectionable; I find attorneys who champion rapists and judges who feel it is acceptable to force rape victims to continually have to watch their rapists take a child of rape for a weekend visit to be objectionable. I find "moderators" which find my truths, my facts which are documented here to be objectionable are themselves objectionable. How dare you censor these truths and object against them! I demand to know why this is objectionable? Because it uses the term rape? How pitiful!