Rape Victim Ordered to Pay Child Support

There are too many variables here to offer a poll, but it’ll be interesting to see what people think:

Ten years ago, when he was fourteen, Nick Olivas had sex with a 20-year-old woman. He recently discovered that 1) he has a daughter and 2) the Arizona Department of Economic Security is forcing him to pay about $15,000 toward child support since the woman was on public assistance.

Even though he was a victim of statutory rape (a willing participant, though of course legally unable to give consent), he was willing to pay his share of expenses incurred after he turned 18.

Files were never charged against the woman. If she’d been found guilty, he might have been exempt by Arizona law from paying child support to her — but not when the claimant is the state. Which seems a bit questionable: child support is for the child, not the mother: should the child be deprived of support because of his or her mother’s offense?

If you agree that Olivas should be paying child support, what if the sex weren’t entirely consensual?  If either psychological or physical pressure had been used, should he still be financially responsible for the girl who is, still, his daughter?

And where do you draw the line? Fourteen? Thirteen? Twelve?

More

 

 

This article, and all articles on this site, are © 2014 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.

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Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 8:51 am  Comments (20)  

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. If they know he’s the father then they should be charging and convicting the mom of rape. The state should be covering the child’s expenses, not a rape victim.

  2. Statutory rape laws are to protect girls from older men. Using them to protect men from women is absurd. And a fifteen year old male is no child, and could be argued to be a man. And most have one goal in life: to get some.

  3. Where the H is Solomon when you need him!

  4. “should the child be deprived of support because of his or her mother’s offense?”

    It isn’t a question of whether or not the child should be supported, but whether that support should come from the parent or the state.

    Typically, if a parent (usually, but not always, the mother) files for state assistance, the state asks if there is a child support order that could be providing for the childrens’ needs instead of the state doing so. If there is no order, the state will seek one.

    In a case where the parent was the victim of a crime (as appears to be the case here), normally the state will decline to attempt to collect from the victim. However, there was no court proceeding and thus no crime (although, since his age is known, and the child’s age is known, proving the case should be simple enough.)

    I think the proper response is that he should seek assistance from the state’s victim assistance fund, if Arizona has one. He has expenses (child support) resulting from his victimization (the statutory rape) thereby making him eligible for assistance.

    There’s another issue hiding in the bushes. He didn’t know he had a child, because he was never told. However, the state is not just trying to collect current child support, but also back child support. Is THAT fair? I wonder if being able to prove no income will be sufficient to defeat the presumptive guidelines for child support… if he was only 15 when the child was born, he was probably incapable of earning anything. significant.

  5. Files were never charged? Really?

  6. “Nick Olivas is fighting an order to pay thousands of dollars in back child support, saying much of it was incurred when he was still a child himself.” Sorry, Nick, but once you have sex, you’re not a child any more.

    “Olivas didn’t press charges. He says at the time, he didn’t even realize it was something he should consider.” Yeah, but he probably bragged about getting laid to his bros …

    Now, snark aside …

    A quick Internet check shows that there’s no statute of limitations on rape. So if he’s smart, he’ll file those charges. (Ironically, the paternity test will rescue him by proving that in fact she did rape him; the baby is that proof.)

    • “once you have sex, you’re not a child any more.”

      Do you apply this logic to ALL rape victims?

      • I don’t have enough +1’s to say how much I +1 this comment.

      • Wow. What a non sequitur.

        Once you’ve had sex, you have entered the world of adulthood. That’s because there’s a bunch of problems you now need to deal with that you didn’t have to before. (STDs, pregnancy, etc.)

        It’s a game-changing moment, whether the sex is consensual or not.

  7. “Files were never charged against the woman.” Hmm, what do you call this sort of thing? It’s not a proper spoonerism.

  8. What if the female was 14 too? Would he be off the hook? He’s the father, and he should pay. The issue of “rape” is completely separate.

    • If the girl was 14, too, then there was no statutory rape and nobody was a victim. (Also, very likely the state either took custody of the baby or allowed another adult in the family to take custody.)

  9. That’s what the definition of statutory consent means and what it is for. It is always psychological and physical pressure, e.g. chemical, audio/visual and tactile stimuli that a child may not know how to resist.

    Can you imagine a case in which a male statutory rapist gets to keep a child and the mother has to pay child support? Apply equal protection for gender and the rationale falls apart. In such a case, the mother would have to be some kind of criminal or nutcase or otherwise a danger to the child, and they were close in age and he were a great, responsible guy otherwise, but even then how does a judge allow a statutory rapist to keep custody? It does not make sense.

    In the case in the article above, the court should award custody to the victim father, and mandate the statutory rapist mother pay child support.

  10. Generally I think inappropriate for a state agency to try to recoup child-support costs from someone who was raped.

    This is not about denying the child support: the state supported the child and wants to recover that support.

    Yes, the state’s ability to recover costs should depend partly on the offenses of the parents, and on the state’s behavior. The state, having failed in its duty to prosecute the woman for rape shouldn’t get to go after the boy for money. By the way, it appears that it’s never too late to prosecute the woman, as there appears to be no time limit for prosecution of the sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15 in Arizona.

    The woman could try to make a case that he should support their child, and the courts could worry about cases such as where the man was 1 day less than the age of consent. (Courts seem to love these arguments.) Arizona also appears to have a “Romeo and Juliet” clause which applies when the age difference is less than two years and both are at least 15 years old (but neither condition applies here).

    If the female was 14 he’d be eligible for rape charges. A deal might be cut in which he paid child support in lieu of facing criminal charges, but I think it would be inappropriate to use this threat to recover money for the state.

    It doesn’t matter that he was willing to have sex. He wasn’t old enough to consent.

    • “Generally I think inappropriate for a state agency to try to recoup child-support costs from someone who was raped.”

      This is normally the policy. But… until someone is convicted of rape, there is no rapist. There is no conviction for rape unless charges are filed, and charges are not filed unless a victim reports the crime.

      “It doesn’t matter that he was willing to have sex. He wasn’t old enough to consent.”

      This is a case where the need for statutory rape law is needed: Even if he wanted to have sex (which is not as done a deal as many seem to assume), he didn’t have the ability to carefully consider the possible risks of doing so… even with sex-ed, apparently he didn’t get the message about the importance of birth-control (or STD risks, apparently.) Creating an unintented pregnancy is pretty strong evidence that at least one of the members of the parental community is incapable of exercising due judgment.

  11. How is the issue of “rape” (nice quotation marks to minimize the crime, BTW) completely separate? What if he was drugged or threatened or physically overpowered? He then should be on the hook for 18 years of payment for the offspring of this crime?

  12. which 14 year old can overlook the consequenses of his/her actions? He might be a willing victim, but a victim nonetheless. The adult woman should have considered the possible complications of her actions. Or would you accept that the victim of a burglary should have to pay the costs of policework? They too are public expenses.,

  13. How about the kid? The one that was born, that is. The father didn’t get burgled or murdered or really harmed in any significant way. The father needs to step up and be the man he wasn’t when he was 14. BTW, if you’re concerned about the mother’s morals, how about having the father claim full custody?

  14. @ padraig: If an underaged female had been raped (instead of a male), would you tell her to be “adult” about it?

  15. Oh this is some crazy, sticky mess! Too much terrible! My sympathies lean towards the victim here. That woman should have known better and there’s no excuse for doin’ a 14 yr old, I don’t care where you’re from. Now, after thinking about this a little bit…would we require a 14 yr old to take responsibility for, let’s say, breaking a window due to being talked into reckless behavior? Or crashing a car because some of his older friends talked him into it? A human being was created because of this act. That human being is innocent and needs his/her father’s support no matter the circumstance. Whatcha think? Reasonable or not?


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