After a man kidnapped a 12-year-old girl, took her to an abandoned house, and raped her for 2 days, she ended up pregnant. Shockingly, her rapist only spent 6 months in jail, but 9 years later, a judge made a new ruling — and when the victim heard it, she gasped in horror and disbelief. Now, you will be too.
Christopher Mirasolo is a criminal of the worst kind. Now a registered sex offender, the rapist preyed on children. The first of which was a young girl, only identified as Tiffany. In 2008, a then-18-year-old Mirasolo forcibly raped and threatened to kill Tiffany when she was just 12 years old.
“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,” explained the victim’s attorney, Rebecca Kiessling. “They thought they were going to McDonald’s or somewhere.”
“Instead, he tossed their cellphones away, drove to Detroit where he stole gas from a station and then drove back to Sanilac County, where he kept them captive for 2 days in a vacant house near a relative, finally releasing the older sister in a park,” Kiessling said. “He threatened to kill them if they told anyone what happened.”
A month later, Mirasolo was arrested, and Tiffany was pregnant. Although the assault potentially carried a penalty of life or a term no less than 25 years, Mirasolo was given a plea deal by the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office. He pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was only sentenced to one year in the county jail. He only served six and a half months, however, before being granted early release to care for his sick mother.
According to Kiessling, Tiffany and her family were “told first-time sex offenders weren’t sent to prison because people come out worse after they go there.” In Mirasolo’s case, however, he should have been kept locked up, which he proved in 2010 when he committed another sex assault, this time on a 14-year-old victim. Sadly, he only served four years for his second offense, and it wouldn’t be the last Tiffany heard of him.
Although Tiffany’s family suggested abortion or giving the baby up for adoption, she did neither. “To her credit, she said she didn’t want the baby to be a victim, too,” Kiessling recalled. “She dropped out of school, went to live with relatives out of state and worked jobs to try and support herself.”
At 21 years old, after changing her entire life to care for her son, Tiffany’s frightening ordeal involving Mirasolo came back to haunt her when she applied for state aid. While receiving government assistance, Tiffany was told that if she did not disclose who was the father of her child, she would lose her benefits. But, things got so much worse when she named Christopher Mirasolo.
Not only was her rapist given the rape victim’s address and his name ordered to be added to the child’s birth certificate — all without the victim’s consent or a hearing — “Christopher Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City was awarded joint legal custody by Judge Gregory S. Ross after DNA testing established paternity of the child,” according to Detriot News.
Yes, the Sanilac County Circuit judge granted parenting time and joint legal custody of the now-8-year-old boy to a convicted sex offender who raped his mother nine years before. “This is insane,” said Kiessling, who filed objections, seeking protection under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act.
Although the case is believed the first of its kind in Michigan and possibly the nation, it has drawn much-needed attention to a failure of our system after it was prompted when the county surveyed the victim regarding child support. “I think this is all crazy,” Tiffany said. “They never explained anything to me. I was receiving about $260 a month in food stamps for me and my son and health insurance for him. I guess they were trying to see how to get some of the money back.”
“Nothing has been right about this since it was originally investigated. He was never properly charged and should still be sitting behind bars somewhere, but the system is victimizing my client, who was a child herself when this all happened,” Kiessling explained. “An assistant prosecutor on this, Eric Scott, told me she had granted her consent, which was a lie — she has never been asked to do this and certainly never signed anything.”
After finding out that her rapist had her address, Kiessling said her client was notified that she was “not allowed to move 100 miles from where she had been living when the case was filed, without court consent.” According to Kiessling, the prosecutor even told Tiffany that “she had to come home immediately or she would be held in contempt of court.”
This entire custody case was initiated by the court, not the biological father. “Chris was notified of the paternity matter and an order of filiation was issued last month by the court saying he had joint legal custody and reasonable visitation privileges,” Barbara Yockey, Mirasolo’s attorney, said.
Yockey added that it’s unclear what future involvement if any her client will have with the child. “He never initiated this. It was something routinely done by the prosecutor’s office when a party makes application for state assistance,” she reiterated. The judge has since put a hold on his own ruling.
As Tiffany waited for this and other matters to be addressed by the court, she decided to speak out in the hopes of helping other rape victims to avoid facing painful, legal circumstances. While it’s understandable that state welfare offices need to ensure that a recipient is in need and responsible parties are paying the support they should, there must be protections offered for those who have proven that they were raped.
This court’s bad decision not only put this mother and child through unnecessary emotional trauma, officials put both their lives at risk when they disclosed their address to the man Tiffany had put behind bars. Indeed, sometimes the scariest sentence in the English language is, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” and this case certainly proves it.