How the Press Gets it Wrong, Part Two-Zillion

This sounds pretty horrible:

Woman Sues Mass. Over Required Contact With Rapist
By Rachel Paiste August 23, 2013

BOSTON — A 19-year-old Massachusetts woman is suing the state for requiring her to attend family court with the man who raped and impregnated her.

In court filings, the victim, whom WBUR is not naming, says she and her mother repeatedly told state officials that they “wanted no contact with [Jamie] Melendez for any purpose and that they did not want the child born of the crime to have a relationship with Melendez.”

Melendez pleaded guilty in September 2011 to a rape charge and was sentenced to 16 years probation, including regular visits to family court.

Wendy Murphy represents the plaintiff, who was raped while home alone at the age of 14. She says the situation violates the rights of her client. “A convicted rapist is getting not only control over his victim for the next 16 years,” she said, “but control that is court-ordered.” That’s because the plaintiff could lose custody of the child if she were to miss a court date.

Until you do a little digging the reporter didn’t do and you find out:

They were in a relationship.
They had sex many times (he has plea-bargained to at least four).
They broke up.

So this is really just another mundane story about a custodial parent seeking to punish the non-custodial parent after some kind of break-up. Sure, it’s complicated by the ages of the participants and the statutory rape conviction, but it’s still a break-up/custody-fight story. Yet we have the Press, to make a sensational story out of a common and mundane story, takes what the victim’s attorney says as gospel and doesn’t bother to find out the findings of facts set forth in the case:

“A judge in the Superior Court found that when Melendez was nineteen years of age and the victim fourteen, the two were in a relationship and engaged in sexual relations. There was no evidence of force or coercion, and Melendez was not charged with forcible rape of a child.”

In the end, the father may end up not getting any visitation rights since he demonstrated a serious deficiency in judgment and behavior. And I don’t care, personally, whether he does or doesn’t. I just think the story is horribly reported with an incredible bias (he’s a rapist!!!) and it’s for the Court to decide on what is best for the child based on Massachusetts law and the ‘best interests of the child’ doctrine. But it’s not for the mother to decide, even if she has decided to hate Jamie Melendez for the rest of his life, because once that child is born, entanglements have happened.

And yet I’m sure that, over the next few days, our little rad-fem and social-justice-warrior friends will read that article, take it as gospel, and whip themselves into a frenzy in their ‘women are perpetual victims,’ ‘MRAs are evil,’ and ‘patriarchy’ bubble. And they will never bother to discover the real facts or determine the underlying situation as being a ‘victim’ scores points. And in the trials necessary to make the team for the Victim Olympics, this young lady looks like she’s working hard to be a contender.


FWIW, many people have this issue. In cases like this, grown-up people agree that the child is to be dropped off at a neutral location, such as a day-care, and the parents never see each other. That’s how I and the crazy-ex-wife did it, over a period of two years, until the State of Tennessee terminated her parental rights. So, in fact, these two people never have to meet again.

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