I have written extensively about the situation where a serial child rapist, Christopher Mirasolo, was given joint custody of the child conceived when he kidnapped and raped a 12-year old nine years ago (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.) Sanilac Probate judge Gregory Ross signed an order in September awarding Mirasolo joint custody with his rape victim after the 21-year old woman whose name is Tiffany was forced to agree to seek a paternity test in order to receive financial assistance.
You can hear Tiffany recount the ordeal she’s been put through HERE.
[I couldn’t embed the video without it autoplaying so you’ll have to click through. It’s worth a watch.]
Since then, the story has created justifiable outrage across the country. This pushback has all parties now backpedaling and making excuses. Judge Ross says he had no idea Mirasolo was a serial child rapist who raped not only Tiffany but another girl after he got out of prison after serving only six and half months for the first rape. He blames the office of Sanilac County Prosecutor, James V. Young for not informing him.
Young himself issued a press release, essentially blaming Tiffany for agreeing to the joint custody arrangement, revictimizing the woman yet again:
The Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office has been the subject of numerous media stories. These articles relate to a paternity action that was initiated by the Michigan Department of Human Services in July of 2017. The paternity action was a result of a twenty-one year old woman who requested financial assistance and as a condition of receiving that financial assistance was advised by Human Services that she was required to cooperate with pursuing paternity and support for her minor child. This young woman came to the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office and completed and signed a paternity questionnaire in which she disclosed the alleged father’s name and address. She further signed an agreement to cooperate with pursuing paternity and signed a statement authorizing the disclosure of her address. […]
While the mother did request that the father not receive visitation, the order stated:
“Parenting time shall be as the parties agree. If they are unable to agree, either party may file a motion.”
Tiffany’s attorney, Rebecca Kiessling, says the questionnaire Tiffany signed did not include a place to put down her concerns about revealing her address nor did she sign any sort of consent to the agreement that Young presented to Judge Ross. Ross, apparently, failed to notice the absence of Tiffany’s signature when he issued the order.
It’s understandable why Prosecutor Young is backpedaling on this so vigorously. After he was convicted of raping Tiffany, Mirasolo faced Criminal Sexual Conduct charges that carried a 25-to-life prison sentence. However, Young’s office gave him a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was given a scant one year sentence. He was let out early to care for his dying mother after serving only six and a half months for abducting and raping a child, threatening her life if she told anyone.
It’s bad enough that Tiffany was forced to pursue paternity in this situation. After all, she was pregnant when her rapist was convicted. But, to make matters worse, the prosecutor’s office is defending their actions by saying the rape of the 12-year old child was consensual:
But the attorney for the mother hits Young even harder, than the prosecutor she says botched the original case of rape of Tiffany in 2008.
That attorney says it happened in an abandoned house outside of Brown City, that Tiffany was held along with another girl against their will.
“He kept them there for 2 days, no food, no water,” says Kiessling. “Then when she was pregnant a month later, they arrested for attempted First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. How is that attempted when she’s pregnant? I don’t know if the prosecutors were hoping that she would have an abortion.”
The attorney says the biggest shocker, authorities pleaded down the case because they too, took the position that this was consensual sex.
However, in Michigan the age of consent is 16.
Mirasolo served 6½ months in the county jail and later was convicted of a second rape and did prison time.
The attorney for Tiffany also says an assistant prosecutor tried to explain their work this way.
“Eric Scott when I met with him last week, he tried to say they didn’t know she was pregnant. Which is an outright lie,” Kiessling said.
Prosecutor Young may be the most guilty party in this entire sad drama. Not only did he allow Mirasolo off with an insulting six and half month sentence, he has tried to blame the victim for the rape in the first place and, more recently, for having her address revealed to her rapist. Not only that, when Mirasolo raped another child, a 14-year old, in 2010 while he was still on probation from the first rape, Young’s office allowed him to enter a no contest plea to two counts of criminal sexual conduct and serve just four years for his second child rape.
Judge Ross has stayed his order that puts Mirasolo on the child’s birth certificate, forces him to pay child support to Tiffany, and opens the door to parental visitation. He has scheduled a hearing for next week on October 17th. A protest against the Prosecutor’s Office and Judge Ross is planned before the hearing at the Sanilac County Courthouse from noon until 3 p.m. Details on that can be found HERE.
Prosecutor Young has been in office since 1984 and is up for reelection in 2020. Sanilac County residents, it seems to me, would be well served by retiring him.
This situation has caught the eye of Attorney General Bill Schuette who appears to be exploiting the case to score political points for his gubernatorial candidacy. Although things appear to be heading in the right direction and Judge Ross has already stayed his order, Schuette has jumped into the fray and has filed paperwork asking that Ross’ order be dismissed:
“The people of this State have a compelling interest in seeing that survivors of sexual assault who conceive a child as a result of that assault may raise that child without the fear of having to share custody with the person who assaulted them; without the dread of disclosing personal details of their and their child’s life with the person who victimized them; and without having to relive the assault again and again,” said the motion, filed by Laura Moody, an assistant attorney general.
It would be much easier to believe that Schuette was doing this for the right reasons if he had any history of that. Unfortunately, as I have written about before, he spends most of his time wasting taxpayer money pursuing his personal, extreme, and hyper-conservative agenda.