Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Prosecutor's office speaks out after MI rapist gets joint custody

Prosecutor's office speaks out after MI rapist gets joint custody

There was widespread condemnation when Sanilac County judge Gregory Ross awarded Christopher Michael Mirasolo joint custody of the child born as a result of the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.

Christopher Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City, was awarded joint legal custody and shared parenting time of the boy with an order signed on September 22 by Sanilac County Circuit Judge Gregory S. Ross, according to the victim's attorney, Rebecca Kiessling.

In the same statement by the Sanilac County Prosecutor's Office, it claimed the order that the victim signed stated "parenting time shall be as the parties agree".

"The prosecutor has the job to pursue the dad to establish that he is the father and to collect child support", Yockey said.

"She signed those statements under duress and fearing her assistance would be cut off", said the woman's attorney, Rebecca Kiessling. The order also required Mirasolo to pay $346 in child support each month. "If the mother does not want the father to have visitation, she does not have to provide it".

The woman, who is not named but is now 21, claims the ordeal started when she sought a paternity test after she was surveyed about the yearly child support she receives.

"He was my rapist", said Tiffany, who was 12 in 2008 when she says Mirasolo forced himself on her in an abandoned house near Detroit. "My client was never heard on the matter or consulted". "Judge Ross's only error was that he should have seen the mother's signature was not on the so-called consent to judgment".

When Ross found out, he cut his vacation short to give the suspension order and had meant to hold the objection hearing on Wednesday, but Kiessling wasn't available until next week, Nevin said. And the prosecutor's office doesn't decide parenting and custody issues - often lengthy, contentious legal battles typically handled by attorneys for the parents with the help of the Friend of The Court and judges.

"This is insane", Kiessling told Detroit News.

"There's nothing to suggest that the judge knew this involved a child molester", Kiessling said.

"If there is a dispute over custody or custodial arrangements, the court could ask (the Friend of the Court) to investigate and that investigation could include a criminal background check", he said.

Mirasolo was initially sentenced to one year in county jail, but was released in less than seven months to care for his mother, who was sick.

Because of the young age of his victim, Mirasolo faced any term of years up to life in prison with a minimum 25 year sentence.

Mirasolo was released from jail in December 2010 after spending just six months for the assault. CBS News' Tony Dokoupil spoke to the victim and her attorney about their effort to protect other rape victims from facing painful legal circumstances.

The custody case has upset and angered many - not just because a convicted rapist was being given joint custody but because many feel Mirasolo never received proper punishment for the 2008 assault or a second sexual offense two years later.

Yockey previously said she has spoken with the Kiessling and expects to have the case resolved privately.

Kiessling said the prosecutor's office "inexplicably" filed motions on behalf of Mirasolo, forwarding the order to the judge without her client's consent. "It was something routinely done by the prosecutor's office when a party makes application for state assistance".

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