Michigan, War on Women — October 9, 2017 at 9:08 am

Judge who awarded Michigan rapist joint custody with the woman he raped as a child had other options

by

Over the weekend I posted a piece about Sanilac Probate Judge Gregory S. Ross awarding joint custody of a 9-year old boy, the child of the woman he raped when she was 12 years old. Christopher Mirasolo held the girl and her sister captive for two days, impregnating her during that time. Under a plea deal, he served only six and a half months for the rape and the victim and her family were told they don’t like to send first-time sex offenders to prison because “people come out worse after they go there.” He later raped another child and spent four years in prison for that.

Because his first rape victim was getting public assistance (food stamps, etc.), the local prosecutor compelled Mirasolo to take a paternity test so they could force him to start paying child support. Once paternity was confirmed, Judge Ross took it upon himself to award joint custody without the rape victim’s consent. Presumably this was so they could extract support from him and relieve the government from that financial burden.

However, Judge Ross was not required to do this. Under a law passed in 2016 called the Child Custody Act, he could have compelled Mirasolo to pay child support without putting the woman he raped as a 12-year old child through this nightmare. Here’s part of the law which is now MCL 722.25 [emphasis mine]:

722.25 Child custody dispute; controlling interests, presumption; award of custody to parent convicted of criminal sexual conduct or acts of nonconsensual sexual penetration; prohibition; support or maintenance obligation; defense; “offending parent” defined.

Sec. 5.

(1) If a child custody dispute is between the parents, between agencies, or between third persons, the best interests of the child control. If the child custody dispute is between the parent or parents and an agency or a third person, the court shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by awarding custody to the parent or parents, unless the contrary is established by clear and convincing evidence.

(2) Notwithstanding other provisions of this act, if a child custody dispute involves a child who is conceived as the result of acts for which 1 of the child’s biological parents is convicted of criminal sexual conduct as provided in sections 520a to 520e and 520g of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520a to 750.520e and 750.520g, or a substantially similar statute of another state or the federal government, or is found by clear and convincing evidence in a fact-finding hearing to have committed acts of nonconsensual sexual penetration, the court shall not award custody to that biological parent. This subsection does not apply to a conviction under section 520d(1)(a) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520d. This subsection does not apply if, after the date of the conviction, or the date of the finding in a fact-finding hearing described in this subsection, the biological parents cohabit and establish a mutual custodial environment for the child.

(3) An offending parent is not entitled to custody of a child described in subsection (2) without the consent of that child’s other parent or guardian.

(4) Notwithstanding other provisions of this act, subsection (2) does not relieve an offending parent of any support or maintenance obligation to the child. The other parent or the guardian of the child may decline support or maintenance from the offending parent.

(5) A parent may assert an affirmative defense of the provisions of subsection (2) in a proceeding brought by the offending parent regarding a child described in subsection (2).

(6) Notwithstanding other provisions of this act, if an individual is convicted of criminal sexual conduct as provided in sections 520a to 520e and 520g of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520a to 750.520e and 750.520g, and the victim is the individual’s child, the court shall not award custody of that child or a sibling of that child to that individual, unless both the child’s other parent and, if the court considers the child or sibling to be of sufficient age to express his or her desires, the child or sibling consent to the custody.

(7) As used in this section, “offending parent” means a parent who has been convicted of criminal sexual conduct as described in subsection (2) or who has been found by clear and convincing evidence in a fact-finding hearing to have committed acts of nonconsensual sexual penetration as described in subsection (2).

So, why did Judge Ross do this? Why did he give Mirasolo the phone number and address of the woman he raped without her consent? Why did he award joint custody, something Mirasolo himself claims he never sought, when the law specifically says he didn’t have to? In fact, did Judge Ross actually VIOLATE THE LAW in doing so? After all, the law says, “if a child custody dispute involves a child who is conceived as the result of acts for which 1 of the child’s biological parents is convicted of criminal sexual … or is found by clear and convincing evidence in a fact-finding hearing to have committed acts of nonconsensual sexual penetration, the court shall not award custody to that biological parent.”

The phrase “shall not” suggests he DID violate the law.

These are fine questions to be asking. And you can ask him yourself. His contact information is publicly available on the Sanilac County website HERE:

You can also sign a petition to have Ross removed from office HERE. If that effort isn’t successful in removing Ross from the bench, he is up for election in November of 2020 and this should be an exceedingly important campaign topic during that election.

One other thing: Republican Senator Rick Jones introduced legislation in 2015Senate Bill 629 – that would put even more teeth into laws preventing rape victims from being compelled to share custody with the person who sexually assaulted them:

“I want to ensure that victims of rape are not faced with a custody battle from their rapist,” Jones said.

Current state law allows a court to terminate parental rights once a rapist is criminally convicted.

SB 629 would allow courts to terminate all rights upon the victim petitioning before a family court judge, requiring a lower burden of proof.

“Sometimes it’s an acquaintance rape, they don’t wish to bring charges and put the person in prison; sometimes the victim simply doesn’t want to go through the criminal trial,” Jones said.

Jones says that he has heard from domestic violence groups regarding the issue.

“I’ve actually heard of horrible cases where the rapist contacted the victim after they heard that a child had been conceived and said: ‘Get an abortion, and if you don’t, I will be going for custody,'” he said.

After spending 31 years in law enforcement, Jones says he has seen the ramifications that rape has on the victim.

“I certainly cannot imagine a rapist being able to continue to harass the victim, or have custody of a child conceived in that act,” he said.

Unfortunately, that bill never made it out of committee and hasn’t been reintroduced. Perhaps now would be a good time to try again.

UPDATE: Judge Ross has stayed his motion. That said, he should still be removed from the bench as quickly as humanly possible. Learn about how to help with that HERE.

UPDATE 2: An important update to this story is HERE. It’s beginning to look like the most evil player in this sad drama is the County Prosecutor James V. Young.

  • Heather Kimbrough

    That is just… PROFOUNDLY disgusting. WTF is this motherfucking judge trying to fucking prove? That he can fucking oppress women some fucking more?????? Increase the abuse and nightmares this young woman has already suffered some fucking more??? REALLY INPIRES YA TO HAVE THE FUCKING RAPIST’S CHILD DOESN’T IT? I would personally rather cut it out of my body with a dull fucking spoon than risk THIS. O, but wait: yeah… Women did, do and will do this again and again and again in repressive patriarchal misogynist cultures like ours and those all over the fucking world and we will continue to bleed and die for male dominance. FUCK! *primal scream*

  • llandyw

    Unfortunately, the 2016 law post dates the offense. Constitutionally, the judge could not use the new law. No law shall be enacted to punish an individual or group retroactively (paraphrasing the constitution). I however believe that no law should ever have allowed any government entity to require a rapist to have contact with the victim or any children of the victim.

    • JoyP

      Are you sure? The custody case was opened after the law was established. I’m not sure what would stipulate that it only applies to children conceived in assaults that occurred after the law passed. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • Michael Cox

      Even without the sited law being enforceable, the criminal would not have parental rights under DHS policy supported by many a case signed by the judiciary. Criminal sexual conduct with a minor gets all adults stripped of parental rights, up to and including removing a newly born infant from the mother.

    • Your reliance on the “ex post facto” clause of the Constitution is misplaced because that clause only applies to criminal law, not to civil law. In addition, not being granted custody of a child is not punitive.

    • billiecat

      Ex post facto would not be applicable in this case as the case is civil, not criminal, See Calder v Bull 3 U.S. 386. Also, even if ex post facto were applicable to civil case, it still would not apply, as prior to the judge’s action, the rapist had no parental rights established and, due to MCL 722.25 would not be entitled to any. MCL 722.25 would be applicable to any attempt to establish parental rights that the rapist had initiated after it was enacted, as it should have been here.

  • Quentin Raffensberg

    I live in Canada and i signed a different petition to have this so called judge debarred. But i was just wondering why i can’t seem to find out if Judge Gregory Ross is a Democrat or a Republican? Living here in Ontario i always recognize the (d) or (r) or even independant (i) next to a politician civil servant’s name and title.

    • Judicial races in Michigan are non-partisan (although the Parties do sometimes endorse candidates.)

      • soc_sci anon

        That being said, Sanilac County is heavily Republican, and went 69% and change to Trump. Because nothing says “family values” like handing out the address of a victim of child rape and joint custody of the kid to a serial child racist. (If he’s white, that is.)

      • hippie1367

        Ross is a lifelong GOP shitstain

    • wendy b

      Without even finding a d or an r after his name, with a brain wave like that, I can tell you he is a Republican. They are the ones who supported and still do — Donald Trump. Does that answer your questions?

      • wendy b

        I am surprised with the history of Trump that he doesn’t put the mother in jail for having social services help financially with the child involved. That would be up his alley!

    • hippie1367

      Hes GOPer filth like most rapist trash.

  • xanxibar

    Judge Gregory Ross needs to be stripped of his position and imprisoned.

  • Scott Craig

    If common sense can’t win out over reprehensibility to a judge in an American courtroom, why bother with them at all?

  • Mica

    He is DISGUSTING. He could have done something else.

  • wendy b

    Is this poor girl being PUNKED???

  • Daisy Montross

    I tried to email from the link above with 2 different valid email accounts and it would not accept either one.
    I’m thinking maybe he himself is a pedophile.

    • steve

      Me either, I hope their server is crippled with emails.

  • debkruss

    This is just the tip of the iceberg of how Gregory Ross conducts himself while presiding over cases. This is definitely not the first case he has made illegal court orders via violations of laws and the U.S. Constitution. He relies heavily on his immunity status regardless of the potential harm to the victims, their families and the justice system. He has displayed total disregard for the laws in which he is to uphold. This is business as usual for Ross and Sanilac County Courts. It just so happens that his corruption got media attention this time. Through experience I would say he is just a puppet on the string with a necessary signature and the strings are pulled by the Prosecutor’s office mainly assistant prosecutor Eric Scott who has no regard or knowledge of the laws and by CPS who is corrupt as a $6 bill. But he still has the final say, so let his head be the first to roll and take out the rest of the corrupt systems.

    • Aunt_tea04

      Deb, not that I don’t believe you, but without some sort of documentation, what you have said is nothing but an unsubstantiated rant. Please give actual examples so people have the facts as a reason to vote him off the bench.

  • steve

    What about just plain old common sense and decency! Did I read correctly that the woman was 12 when he raped her?

  • hippie1367

    Sanilac where women are less important than rapists.

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