The victim and her family are fighting back, saying the rapist is only showing interest in the family now that the child support bill is coming due.
"She got raped at 14. She decided to keep her baby. And now she has to hand her baby over for a visit with her rapist?" the victim's mother said. The teen mother, who still suffers from severe anxiety and depression, says she's terrified at the thought of having to face the man who raped and impregnated her to arrange for visitation rights.
"He threatened me. He told me that he could make my life upside down, and I wouldn't have anybody and he would pin it all on me. So I was scared," she told FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet. It happened when she was in eighth grade, just 14-years-old. He was a 20-year-old man she knew from her church, the boyfriend of her friend's older sister. When her mother found out, they went to the police to press charges. But she decided to keep the baby.
"Being Christian, the way I looked at it, the way I thought of it, this is a baby, an innocent person that didn't do anything wrong. Like, why should I take away that life?" she said. The man was charged with four counts of statutory rape of a child in 2009. Last year, he pleaded guilty to all the charges in Norfolk Superior Court. FOX Undercover isn't identifying the victim or the rapist to help protect her identity. The Norfolk prosecutor asked for a three to five year prison sentence. But Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire sentenced him to 16 years of probation with the condition he acknowledges he's the father of the baby and abide by the probate and family court. The probate court ordered him to pay child support, opening the door for him to request visitation rights with the child.
"He hasn't cared up until now. Why should he now? She's three. She doesn't know who he is," the teen mother told FOX Undercover. The attorney for the man who admitted raping the teenager would not comment on his client's fight for visitation rights. But he did claim the relationship was consensual, even though he acknowledged it was inappropriate, given the victim was only 14 and his client was 20.
The family has hired attorney Wendy Murphy. "Why was this case sent to family court? This isn't a family situation..If the judge thinks this isn't as serious as a stranger rape, and if this is a judge saying to himself, ‘I wouldn't have done this if it had been a stranger in a dark alley,' then that's a judge that maybe shouldn't be sitting on criminal cases because we got over that distinction I think 30 years ago." "What kind of legal system commands a toddler into a relationship with the man who raped her mother?" she asked.