State Senator John Proos is praising legislation now headed for a vote of the full Senate designed to prevent an individual convicted of rape from getting custody of a child born as a result of that crime. He tells us there’s currently a loophole that can give a rapist partial custody when a mother applies for welfare assistance through the Family Independence Program. That’s because the mother has to disclose paternity of her child when applying.
“If an individual is convicted of rape, but paternity is determined in that process where the rape victim is found to be with child because of the rapist, there would not be an opportunity for that individual to have parental rights,” Proos said.
Proos tells us there was a recent case in Sanilac County in which a convicted rapist temporarily got partial custody. The judge later reversed the decision when the conviction came to light. Proos tells us the new legislation would ensure applicants know they do not need to disclose the biological father’s identity if the child was conceived due to criminal sexual conduct.