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Wtf Massachusetts???

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:54 PM
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 ETA:  I tried to find some info as to whether it was considered statutory rape, and found this link:  http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2012/09/rapist-demands-visitation-rights-for.html

according to this, she stated that she felt "threatened and intimidated" by him, and that he went to her house when he knew her mother wouldn't be there and pressured her into having sex with him. 

August 21, 2013  |  

  
 
 

BOSTON (CN) - A rape victim sued Massachusetts to stop it from subjecting her to "a court-ordered 16-year unwanted relationship with her attacker" by giving him paternity rights over the child born from the rape.
     H.T., of Norwood, Mass., sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Federal Court.
     "The plaintiff, a rape victim in a state criminal matter, became pregnant in 2009 at age 14 as a result of the crime and gave birth to her attacker's child," the lawsuit states.
     "The defendant in the state criminal proceeding, age 20 at the time of the impregnation, was convicted of rape in 2011 and was sentenced to 16 years probation. Conditions of probation include an order that he initiate proceedings in family court and comply with that court's orders until the child reaches adulthood. The plaintiff here seeks to enjoin enforcement of so much of the state court's order as violates her federal rights by binding her to an unwanted 16-year legal relationship with her rapist."
     H.T., who recently graduated from high school, says the order forces her to participate in unwanted court proceedings for 16 years with the man who raped her, and to spend money on legal fees.
     "The plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm without relief from this court because she cannot choose not to participate in said family court proceedings without risking serious consequences, including the loss of custody of her child," the complaint states.
     "Even if the family court ruled in the plaintiff's favor on issues currently in dispute, such as whether the criminal defendant should be granted visitation rights to the plaintiff's child, the plaintiff will suffer harm from the constant threat of new issues arising in family court until her child reaches adulthood, including, for example, efforts by the criminal defendant to seek to modify child support orders and enforce his parental rights at the trial court level and on appeal."
     H.T. was 14 when 20-year-old Jamie Melendez raped her in the fall of 2009, making her pregnant, according to the complaint.
     H.T. says she lived with her mother, who had to quit her job to care for the baby.
     "The plaintiff and her mother repeatedly informed state officials that they wanted no contact with Melendez for any purpose and that they did not want the child born of the crime to have a relationship with Melendez," the complaint states.
     "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. The plaintiff and her mother were adamantly opposed to participation in family court proceedings and repeatedly expressed this sentiment to state officials." (Parentheses in complaint).
     In June 2012, H.T. found out that Melendez was seeking visitation rights with the child.
     After a family court judge ordered Melendez to pay $110 a week in child support, he Melendez asked for visitation rights, and offered to withdraw his request in exchange for not having to pay child support, according to the lawsuit.
     "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.
     The sentencing judge in the state criminal court denied H.T.'s request to order Melendez to pay criminal restitution instead of child support, and release her from any legal proceedings involving him.
     H.T. asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to review the decision, but the single justice of the court found that she lacked standing to challenge the order. The justice agreed with the state court that H.T. could appeal any adverse rulings in family court.
     H.T. appealed the ruling, but the full court affirmed the single justice's decision in June, according to the complaint.
     H.T. says she never asserted an interest in the prosecution of Melendez. On the contrary, she seeks to be released from having any authority over his probationary conditions, according to the complaint.
     "Through this action, the plaintiff requests that she be liberated from a state court order that not only imposes unlawfully on her liberty for 16 years, but also obligates her with the unwanted and inappropriate responsibility for ensuring Melendez's compliance with the conditions of his probation; an obligation that should rest exclusively with state officials," the complaint states.
     H.T. claims the order subjects her to an unwanted legal relationship with her attacker, and violates due process and other constitutional rights.
     "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. seeks an injunction and annulment of the order.
     She is represented by Wendy Murphy, co-director of New England Law School's Women's and Children's Advocacy Project.
     A spokeswoman for Attorney General Martha Coakley declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the state had not yet reviewed the filing.  

 

Source:  http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/raped-and-impregnated-14-girl-must-now-share-parental-rights-her-attacker

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by on Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Homeschoolmom99
by Barb on Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Was it rape or statutory rape? why only probation and not jail time?

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Those judges should be ashamed of themselves.

lhiannan
by Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:22 PM
I can't find the information-I tried.

Quoting Homeschoolmom99:

Was it rape or statutory rape? why only probation and not jail time?

terpmama
by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:38 PM
I believe 35 sttes have similar paternity laws on the books... Whereby te rapist have parental rights to any offspring of their criminal actions.
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:39 PM
1 mom liked this

sounds like it was statutory rape if he only got probation.  I sit on the fence with this.  I have know way too many girls want and seek out older boyfriends and then fall pregnant and the parents step in and can if they wanted to call statutory rape.

If it was statutory rape brought to the courts by parents then I would have to side with the father.

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:44 PM


Quoting terpmama:

I believe 35 sttes have similar paternity laws on the books... Whereby te rapist have parental rights to any offspring of their criminal actions.

yup... Mass isn't the only state to do this.

it sucks, but this is from the 'male domination' bs that used to run the country. 

heresjohnny
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:51 PM

You mean, the "father" who offered to withdraw his visitation suit if she agreed to drop the child support order? IMO, "fathers" who do that should automatically lose any and all claims for visitation. They don't give a rat's ass about the child, they just want to stick it to the mother and get out of paying child support.


Quoting turtle68:

sounds like it was statutory rape if he only got probation.  I sit on the fence with this.  I have know way too many girls want and seek out older boyfriends and then fall pregnant and the parents step in and can if they wanted to call statutory rape.

If it was statutory rape brought to the courts by parents then I would have to side with the father.



lhiannan
by Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:04 PM

 She stated that she felt "threatened and intimidated" and that he pressured her into it.  He pleaded guilty.

Quoting turtle68:

sounds like it was statutory rape if he only got probation.  I sit on the fence with this.  I have know way too many girls want and seek out older boyfriends and then fall pregnant and the parents step in and can if they wanted to call statutory rape.

If it was statutory rape brought to the courts by parents then I would have to side with the father.

 

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terpmama
by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:14 PM
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If it were 16 and 18 I might agree with you... However 14 and 20... Whole other world as far as concent. 

Quoting turtle68:

sounds like it was statutory rape if he only got probation.  I sit on the fence with this.  I have know way too many girls want and seek out older boyfriends and then fall pregnant and the parents step in and can if they wanted to call statutory rape.

If it was statutory rape brought to the courts by parents then I would have to side with the father.



jllcali
by Jane on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:24 PM
This is disgusting. Sadly, this shit happens far too frequently.
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