Loophole in law gives parental rights to convicted rapists
Frankfort, KY: Representative Dennis Keene (D-Wilder) filed legislation, House Bill 204, to close a loophole in Kentucky law that grants parental and visitation rights to convicted rapists should they choose to seek those rights. Currently, Kentucky is one of 34 states that has no protection for rape victims who become mothers as a result the rape.
“I was shocked when I heard about a case in Massachusetts last summer where the victim was 14 years old when she was raped and was dealing with this issue in the courts. I then learned that Kentucky was one of the states with no law that protects the victim in this circumstance,” says Rep. Dennis Keene. “What kind of society are we to force a victim of rape into a lifelong sentence with a convicted perpetrator of such a violent crime?”
Keene’s bill seeks to create a new statute that states: “Any person who has been convicted of rape in the first degree in which the victim of that rape has conceived and delivered a child shall not be entitled to parental or visitation rights.”
Executive Director of The Women’s Crisis Center, Marsha Croxton, weighed in on Keene’s legislation, “Pregnancy resulting from rape can change every aspect of a survivor’s life, especially if the rapist tries to use custody and visitation as weapons. We greatly appreciate Rep. Keene’s interest in this issue and willingness to champion legislation to protect rape victims.”
Representative Dennis Keene has served the citizens of the 67th District since 2005 and is the chairman of the House Licensing and Occupations Committee, Vice Chairman of Economic Development, Vice Chairman on the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation and a member of the Banking & Insurance Committee. Keene is a small business owner and an economic development advisor for EGC Construction. For more information, visit: www.DennisKeene.com.