Published October 29, 2012
The case of a Massachusetts man seeking visitation rights to the child he fathered after raping a 14-year-old girl has landed in front of the state’s highest court, MyFoxBoston.com reports.
The girl was 14 when she was impregnated by then-20-year-old Jamie Melendez, who pleaded guilty last year to four counts of statutory rape of a child.
The teen victim is arguing that she should not have to face potentially years of family court battles with the man who violated her, according to My Fox Boston.
According to the site, the youth's attorney, Wendy Murphy, argued before Supreme Judicial Court Justice Margot Botsford that the lower court judge, Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire, essentially forced her client into a relationship with her rapist by sentencing Melendez into Probate and Family Court.
Melendez has asked a family court judge for visitation rights.
Murphy wants the sentence revised so that Melendez must pay restitution instead of child support so her client can avoid what could be years of family court hearings about various child support and visitation matters.
The next step is up to Justice Botsford. She could issue her own ruling, or refer the case to the full SJC.
A hearing to decide if the rapist gets visitation rights is set for Nov. 6 in family court, so it's expected Botsford will make a decision before then.