A new state law in Michigan that protects rape victims has passed its first legal test.
Michigan passed the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act last year and pro-life activist Ed Rivet says the law proved important in a rape victim's custody battle with her rapist.
The girl, who was 12 when she was raped and impregnated, had to endure a legal fight with the child's imprisoned father over custody of the child, who is now 8.
Rivet of Right to Life of Michigan says that a circuit court judge, Gregory Ross, had granted the imprisoned rapist join custody in an obviously controversial decision.
The state law, he says, allowed the mother to cut off visitation rights.
The mother responded with legal action of her own, and a hearing was set for later this month, but the case has since been settled.
"I think the judge was embarrassed by the whole reality," says Rivet. "The perpetrator has had his picture broadcast half-way around the world now and was anxious to settle the case, and so they have negotiated his agreement."
Bolstered by the state law, the perpetrator must pay child support but has no custody rights.