By Iulia Filip
A rape victim sued Massachusetts to stop it from subjecting her to “a court-ordered 16-year unwanted relationship with her attacker” by giving him paternity rights over the child born from the rape. H.T., of Norwood, Mass., sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Federal Court. “The plaintiff, a rape victim in a state criminal matter, became pregnant in 2009 at age 14 as a result of the crime and gave birth to her attacker’s child,” the lawsuit states.
“The defendant in the state criminal proceeding, age 20 at the time of the impregnation, was convicted of rape in 2011 and was sentenced to 16 years probation. Conditions of probation include an order that he initiate proceedings in family court and comply with that court’s orders until the child reaches adulthood. The plaintiff here seeks to enjoin enforcement of so much of the state court’s order as violates her federal rights by binding her to an unwanted 16-year legal relationship with her rapist.”
H.T., who recently graduated from high school, says the order forces her to participate in unwanted court proceedings for 16 years with the man who raped her, and to spend money on legal fees.
“The plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm without relief from this court because she cannot choose not to participate in said family court proceedings without risking serious consequences, including the loss of custody of her child,” the complaint states.