This week a 27-year-old Michigan man was granted joint legal custody of an 8-year-old whose mother he allegedly raped. Sanilac County Circuit Court Judge Gregory S. Ross awarded joint custody and parenting time to Christopher Mirasolo of Brown City after a DNA test established paternity of the 8-year-old boy, the Detroit News reports. According to the victim's attorney, Rebecca Kiessling, Mirasolo raped her client nine years ago, when the woman was 12 years old. Mirasolo pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual conduct and was sentenced to one year in county jail. He only served six-and-a-half months, however, and in 2010 he was convicted of committing a sex assault on a victim between the ages of 13 and 15. He served four years for that second offense.
Mirasolo's lawyer, Barbara Yockey, said her client did not initiate the DNA testing but was only notified of the paternity issue a month ago. “I don’t know what his plans or intentions might be regarding any future relationship with the child,” Yockey says. Kiessling, who filed objections with the court on Friday, says Judge Ross disclosed her client's address to Mirasolo and ordered the man's name added to the child's birth certificate, without the consent of the victim or a hearing. A new hearing is scheduled for October 25. In 2016 the state of Michigan passed a law allowing courts to terminate the parental rights of children conceived by rape, Bustle reports. There are currently seven states that have no laws preventing rapists from claiming rights as parents, CNN reports. (Read more Michigan stories.)