Sex Offender Awarded Custody of 3-Year-Old Florida Girl

The family of a 3-year-old Florida girl is outraged after a judge awarded custody to the child's legal father, who is a registered sex offender, WJXX-TV reports.

Trista Crews Coleman, the child's mother, reportedly died in a car accident a month after her daughter, Miranda Wilkerson, was born.

Earlier this month, a judge gave custody to the child's father, Donald Coleman, a registered sex offender who impregnated Trista Crews Coleman in 1997 when he was 38 and she was 14 years old. 

The two had three children together and Crews Coleman's mother, Rita Manning, said she only signed off on the wedding because a child was on the way.

"I signed for them to get married for that reason only," Manning told the station. 

Coleman was arrested after the couple wed in 1997, and court records show he pleaded guilty to a sex crime involving a child under 16, the station reports. He was then ordered to register as a sex offender. 

Manning said her daughter left Coleman in 2005, saying, "She couldn't afford a divorce (because) she was supporting three kids on their own." 

After her daughter died, Manning said, Coleman filed for custody of Miranda and was awarded it. 

"Her whole world is here," Manning told the station. "How could a judge do that?"

"She's been with me since she drew breath," Manning reportedly said. 

Click to read more on this story from WJXX-TV