A rapist who fathers a child through sexual assault should not be allowed to have any parental rights. That’s a no-brainer. But then why has it taken so long for the Arizona legislature to address this issue? Rape is such a heinous act, but the fact is that there have been cases in other states where a man whose sexual assault resulted in conception of a child petitioned the court and was later awarded parenting time with that child. Can you imagine a mother in this type of scenario being forced to share custody of her child with the man who raped her? That, itself, should be considered a crime.
Arizona’s new law, S.B. 1007, if passed, will add sexual assault that led to the conception of a child to the list of evidence sufficient to justify the termination of the parent-child relationship of the parent who committed the assault.
The provisions of the bill will allow a parent or agency to file a Petition to Terminate the parent-child relationship, and the perpetrator’s parental rights can be terminated upon a finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that the parent committed a sexual assault that resulted in the child being conceived. It also allows the Court to accept a guilty plea or conviction for sexual assault as evidence that the child was conceived as a result of a sexual assault by that parent.
This new law is fair and right, and will prevent ongoing trauma and abuse. It will stop a mother who was the victim of rape from being re-victimized over-and-over again by her rapist. But it makes you wonder: Why did it take so long?
At the Law Firm of Gary J. Frank P.C., our Arizona Family Law Attorneys Gary Frank, Hanna Amar, and Logan Matura are strong litigators and compassionate counselors. Gary Frank is a Phoenix Family Law Attorney with over 30 years of experience as a litigator and mediator. He has also acted in the capacity of a Judge Pro Tempore in the Maricopa County Superior Court, and served on the Governor’s Child Abuse Prevention Task Force. Law firm Partner, Hanna Amar is a highly-skilled Arizona Family Law Attorney with a passion for Family Law and children’s issues. She has extensive courtroom experience, and is also a certified mediator. Hanna has also acted as the President of the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Maricopa County Bar Association. Associate Attorney Logan Matura is an Arizona Family Law Attorney who received her Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School in Manhattan, NY. While in law school, she served as an intern for a Family Court judge in the Bronx, NY, and was a member of the Family Attorneys Mobilizing club. Logan is passionate about children and families, and provides expert representation for her clients. Our firm handles Family Law cases in the areas of divorce, custody (now called “Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time), relocation (move-away), division of property, spousal and child support, modification actions, enforcement actions, grandparent and step-parent and non-parent rights, as well as other matters pertaining to families and children. If you are in need of a consultation, call us today at 602-383-3610; or you can contact us by email through our website at www.garyfranklaw.com. We look forward to hearing from you.