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An Arizona man who was the victim of statutory rape in his teens is now being ordered to pay child support for the daughter conceived during the illicit encounter.
Nick Olivas claims he never knew about the daughter he fathered when he was 14 with an adult woman until he was served with child support papers two years ago, reports The Arizona Republic.
How can Olivas be liable for child support for a child he fathered when he was legally raped?
Statutory rape occurs when an adult has sexual relations with a minor. A minor is considered below the age of consent, so even when a minor "consents" to having sex with an adult, that consent is not legally valid and the sex is generally considered statutory rape. However, the age of the victim and the age difference between the victim and the perpetrator may be a factor in some states.
Olivas never reported the rape, which occurred when he was a 14-year-old high school student. The encountered occurred with an older woman (then 20) who he says took advantage of a lonely kid, reports The Arizona Republic. In Arizona, statutory rape of a child under 15 is a Class 2 felony.
The statute of limitations for a Class 2 felony in Arizona is seven years, meaning that the woman who statutorily raped Olivas may no longer be charged with the crime.
Although Olivas was unaware of the child, and the child was conceived without his consent during the commission of the crime, under Arizona law he is still liable for child support payments. Olivas not only owes support from the time he was contacted, but also for back child support and medical bills, plus interest, from the time the child was born.
Olivas told The Arizona Republic that his wages are being garnished to pay the $15,000 the state says he owes in back support. In Arizona, child support obligations are not excused unless the parent seeking support was convicted of sexual assault or sex with a minor, which in this case, the mother of Olivas' child was not.
For this young man, Arizona law appears more concerned about the care of his child than the criminal circumstances that brought her into the world.
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