Legislation Could Strike Rapists' Parental Rights

By: Kim Eiten Email
By: Kim Eiten Email

One senator wants to put an end to rapists' parental rights.

Surprisingly, it's a law that's not on the books yet.

It's not unusual for parents to battle for custody in court, unless the person you're fighting and the father of your child also happens to be the man who raped you.

Under normal circumstances, paying child support without any parental rights could be called far-fetched.

But, one bill in the legislature is looking to make it law in cases of rape.

"It is not conceivable to me that the father of that child, conceived through sexual assault, should have any rights to visitation, custody or anything of that kind," Senator Bill Avery of Lincoln said.

Norfolk attorney Patricia Samuels handles cases of the sort.

She told 10/11 News over the phone Thursday that it's about putting an end to continued victimization of the mother through contact with her rapist.

It's something Bill Avery agrees on.

"For the life of that child, the mother is tethered to her rapist," he said. "To be in contact with the father, the person who committed the assault, is just an injustice to the mother."

Introduced Monday, the bill still has a long way to go in the unicameral before it becomes law.

But, Avery is confident and hopeful that it will happen.

Under the bill, the accused rapist would only get to keep his parental rights if given consent by the victim which would then have to be approved by a judge.

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