Statutory Rape Victim Ordered To Pay Back Child Support
Nick Olivas became a father at 14, a fact he wouldn’t learn for eight years. While in high school, Olivas had sex with a 20-year-old woman. As he sees it now, she took advantage of a lonely kid going through a rough patch at home.
Via WUSA9 reports:
State law says a child younger than 15 cannot consent with an adult under any circumstance, making Olivas a rape victim. Olivas didn’t press charges and says he didn’t realize at the time that it was even something to consider.
The two went their separate ways. Olivas, now 24 and living in Phoenix, graduated from high school, went to college and became a medical assistant.
Then two years ago, the state served him with papers demanding child support. That’s how he found out he had a then-6-year-old daughter.
“It was a shock,” he said. “I was living my life and enjoying being young. To find out you have a 6-year-old? It’s unexplainable. It freaked me out.”
He said he panicked, ignored the legal documents and never got the required paternity test. The state eventually tracked him down.
Olivas said he owes about $15,000 in back child support and medical bills going back to the child’s birth, plus 10 percent interest. The state seized money from his bank account and is garnisheeing his wages at $380 a month.
He has become one of the state’s 153,000 active child-support cases, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security division of Child Support Services.
In May alone, payments were not made in 49 percent of those cases, according to the agency.
Olivas’ fear has turned to frustration.
He wants to be in his daughter’s life and is willing to pay child support going forward. But he says it’s not right for the state to charge him for fees incurred when he was still a child himself or for the years he didn’t know the girl existed.
“Anything I do as an adult, I should be responsible for,” he said. “But as a teenager? I don’t think so.”
Situations such as Olivas’ are rare, according to fathers-rights advocates. But cases in several states have garnered attention. Although there has been some public outcry over charging a crime victim with child support, the courts have consistently said states have every right to do so.
The most well-known case was of a Kansas boy who, at age 13, impregnated his 17-year-old baby-sitter. Under Kansas law, a child under the age of 15 is legally unable to consent to sex. The Kansas Supreme Court in 1993 ruled that he was liable for child support.
Do you think Olivas should have to pay?