Christopher Mirasolo is a heinous criminal. The rapist, who was now a registered sex offender, preyed on minors. Tiffany, a little girl, was the first to be recognized. When Tiffany was just 12 years old, Mirasolo, then 18, violently raped her and threatened to murder her.
She, her 13-year-old sister, and a friend all slipped out of their house one night to meet a boy, and the boy’s older friend, Mirasolo, showed up and asked if they wanted to go for a ride, said Rebecca Kiessling, the victim’s lawyer. They thought they were going to McDonald’s or somewhere.
Instead, he threw away their cellphones, drove to Detroit, stole gas from a station, and then drove back to Sanilac County, where he held them captive for two days in a vacant house near a relative, eventually releasing the older sister in a park, Kiessling said. He threatened to kill them if they told anyone about what had occurred.
Mirasolo was arrested a month later, and Tiffany was pregnant. Despite the fact that the attack might have resulted in a life sentence or a period of no less than 25 years, the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office offered Mirasolo a plea bargain. He pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct and received just a one-year term in county prison. He was only imprisoned for six and a half months before being given early release to care for his ill mother.
Tiffany and her family were “told first-time sex offenders weren’t sent to prison since individuals come out worse after they go there,” according to Kiessling. Mirasolo, on the other hand, should have been locked away, as he demonstrated in 2010 when he perpetrated another sex attack, this time on a 14-year-old victim. Unfortunately, he only spent four years in prison for his second offense, and Tiffany would not be the last to hear from him.
Tiffany’s family advised abortion or placing the baby for adoption, but she chose neither. To be fair, she said she didn’t want the baby to be a victim, either, Kiessling added. She dropped out of school, went to live with relatives out of state, and worked jobs to try to support herself.
Tiffany’s terrifying encounter with Mirasolo came back to haunt her when she sought state help at 21 years old, after altering her whole life to care for her baby. Tiffany was advised that if she did not identify the father of her child while receiving government aid, she might lose her benefits. But things took a turn for the worse when she introduced Christopher Mirasolo.
Not only was the rape victim’s address given to her rapist, and his name was added to the child’s birth certificate without the victim’s consent or a hearing, but Christopher Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City, was awarded joint legal custody by Judge Gregory S. Ross after DNA testing established the paternity of the child.
Yes, a Sanilac County Circuit Judge gave a convicted sex offender who raped his mother nine years ago parenting time and shared legal custody of the now-8-year-old son. “This is insane,” Kiessling said after filing objections under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act.
Although the case is thought to be the first of its sort in Michigan, if not the country, it has brought much-needed attention to a flaw in our system after it was spurred when the county polled the victim about child support. She thinks this is all crazy, Tiffany said. Nothing was ever explained to her. She was getting roughly $260 per month in food stamps and health insurance for herself and her kid. She supposes they were looking for a way to get part of the money back.
Nothing has been correct about this since it was first investigated. He was never properly charged and should still be behind bars somewhere, Kiessling added. But the system is victimizing her client, who was a child herself when this all occurred. An assistant prosecutor on this case, Eric Scott, told her she gave her consent, which was a lie—she was never asked to do this and definitely never signed anything.
Kiessling said that after learning that her rapist knew her address, her client was informed that she was not permitted to move 100 miles from where she had been living when the case was filed, without court consent. According to Kiessling, the prosecutor even informed Tiffany that she had to come home quickly or she would be held in contempt of court.
The court, not the biological father, launched the whole custody case. Chris was informed of the paternity matter, and an order of filiation was issued by the court last month saying he had joint legal custody and reasonable visitation privileges, Mirasolo’s attorney, Barbara Yockey, said.
Yockey noted that her client’s future connection with the kid, if any, is unknown. This was never his idea. She emphasized that it was something that the prosecutor’s office did routinely when a party applied for state assistance. The judge has subsequently placed his own decision on hold.
Tiffany chose to come up while waiting for the court to handle these and other issues in the hopes of preventing future rape victims from enduring harsh legal consequences. While it is fair that state welfare offices must confirm that recipients are in need and that responsible parties are providing the proper assistance, there must be safeguards in place for people who have shown that they were raped.
This court’s terrible judgement not only caused this mom and kid tremendous emotional distress, but it also placed both of their lives in danger when authorities revealed their addresses to the guy Tiffany had imprisoned. In fact, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” is often the scariest line in the English language, as this instance demonstrates.