The following was published in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Citizen's Voice
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I just read the November 29, 2007, story concerning the former Catholic High School teacher who admitted her guilt for an "affair" with a teenage boy and is now pregnant with that teenager’s child. The teenager’s family is playing coy hoping to reduce the fallout, with this paper calling the victim a "paramour." Surprise, that family just made their son’s future more bleak by a misplaced desire to avoid truth and an apparent boys-will-be-boys attitude over the sexual predator’s conduct.
When that child is born, the mother will have the legal authority to obtain child support from the victim. That child support will be paid.. Like all rules exceptions exist, but none that will help the victim. Indeed, if the predator retains custody of the child, convicted or expunged, the victim will not be able to cite to the rape crime as a defense to the payment of child support. The law is such that even if the child is removed from the home, the victim’s duty to pay support to the foster family will continue.
What if the predator mom promises to not seek child support? That agreement is void as a matter of law and victim will pay. What if the predator mom changes her mind and keeps the victim from his son, even if he is paying his support? No defense to paying this predator her blood money, and blood money it is as it derives from the linage of the child.
The victim has one choice and that is to fight for the custody of his child. He and his child are equally victims. With custody, he can prevent the predator from disturbing their lives or even visiting the child. He can not prevent her from abusing his life so long as he does not have custody of the child. State law is toothless when it comes to boy victims who are non-custodial fathers and offers no protection.
I practice law in this area and have litigated many aspects of this law. What is stated is a general rule. The public must demand that victims of rape not be required to pay any money, even child support, to the criminal or any other person as a result of the crime. I wrote to Sen. Burchett seeking this change to the law over a year ago, but certain interest groups are concerned about the child not receiving child support from the non-custodial, victim, dad.
David B. Hamilton, Esq.
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