Mich. mom in rape custody case loses state help because of GoFundMe page
SALINAC COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) – A young woman from the thumb area was raped at age 12. That rape produced a child and for a brief time, her attacker was given joint custody before the judge corrected it.
Now the 21-year-old Michigan mother is losing her government assistance, $300 in food assistance benefits and health insurance for her son.
Because of the money raised on the GoFundMe website, on her behalf, the department of health and human services says that money is now considered a financial asset.
“The GoFundMe is $102,000 but she’s only getting $75,000 of it because of all the fees that are taken,” said attorney Rebecca Kiessling.
Tiffany was raped when she was just 12 years old. She gave birth to the child, who is now 8.
In September, a Sanilac County judge granted the biological father, the man who was convicted of raping Tiffany, Christopher Mirasolo joint legal custody of the little boy.
Tiffany was ordered to move from Florida back to Michigan, where Mirasolo, 27, lives. The case was eventually dropped but with Tiffany and her son back in Michigan, with nowhere to live, a friend set up a GoFundMe page.
“The intent was that she was going to get a place to live,” said Kiessling. “To get a place to live and put a roof over their head, that was the plan.”
Tiffany’s attorney plans to appeal to the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to do away with her client’s state assistance.
“This is a girl who had to drop out of high school,” Kiessling said. “She was 12 years old when she was pregnant, she had to work under the table when she was 13, 14 years old. She got her first job at McDonald’s at 15. She doesn’t have a diploma, can you cut her a break?”