Legislation Would Close Loophole That Allows Child Custody For Rapists

Oct 27, 2017

A state lawmaker wants to close loopholes in the state's paternity law that led to a judge accidentally ordering a mother to share custody of her child with a rapist. 

The order came after the mother filed for public assistance in Sanilac County.  A law adopted last year required the prosecutor to try to get child support from the father. In this case, it was a man who raped the mother when she was 12 and he was 19. The support order also granted the father shared custody. 

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) says that's not how the law is supposed to work.

"We saw that the judge reversed the order that was granted to the rapist to get custody over his child, but, certainly, we can make sure that the moms who have beared (sic) children that this can never happen to them again," she said. 

Schuitmaker's legislation would strengthen notification requirements that rape victims don't have to name a father, and close loopholes in Michigan's paternity law.