Rapist demands visitation rights in court

By: Eva Fett 

A rapist is now demanding he have full visitation rights to the child, who was born from the rape, according to reports.

A convicted rapist in Massachusetts, is trying to gain visitation rights as the father of the child, who was born after raping a 14-year-old girl.

Jamie Melendez, now 24, was convicted of raping a high school student he met when he was 17-years-old, and a foster child involved with a youth group from the church in Norfolk, Massachusetts, according to the counsel of the victim.

Melendez went to the house of the girl when he knew her mother would not be home and pressured her to have sex with him. She said she felt threatened and intimidated by Melendez.

Melendez was convicted of rape in 2011, and sentenced to 16 years probation. Judge Thomas McGuire, who oversaw the criminal proceedings against Melendez, remanded the case to the family court in the spring where Melendez was sentenced to pay $110 per week in child support for the victim.

Now, Melendez has filed a petition in the Family Court arguing that if he is forced to pay child support, he must have access rights, a situation that the victim's lawyer said it would be grossly unfair.

"Once I found out that the judge ordered a rapist to go to family court and pay child support, which is outrageous because in a sense this decriminalizes his conduct, or characterizes his actions as not a serious crime, I have filed a motion to reverse the judge's order," said Wendy Murphy, a criminal lawyer and scholar at the New England School of Law.

"My client is very concerned that she will have to send her daughter to this man she did not know, and out for visits with the man who raped his mother and created the child. We are fiercely fighting this concept of even being in family court," Murphy said.