The Kentucky Senate has unanimously approved a bill terminating parental or custody rights of anyone convicted of felony rape when the mother chooses to keep the child.
The bill was brought by Monticello Senator Sarah Beth Gregory. "I think most people are surprised to learn that under current Kentucky law a mother who's been a rape victim and the child can be subjected to years of a court battle with the convicted rapist father over custody and visitation rights with regard to the child," said Gregory. Gregory says the measure also requires the father to pay child support and ensures he could not inherit property from the child. "A person who would commit a rape could be a person of a variety of financial means. It could be someone who is quite capable of paying child support and if that, is in fact, the case, we would not want to deprive the child of those resources," added Gregory. Gregory says a similar bill has already passed out of the Kentucky House. She hopes differences can be worked out to win final passage of the legislation.