Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Schlossberg: Close the Rapist Support Loophole

I'm unhappy with the way Mike Schlossberg left his position on Allentown City Council, where he mostly served as a bobble head to Mayor Edwin Pawlowski. An opportunist, he ran for Jenn Mann's seat the second it became available, even though he had just been re-elected. Then he resigned well before he had to, leaving an undemocratic City Council full of appointees as opposed to people actually chosen by the voters. But his early legislative proposals as a State Rpresentative are impressive.

His most recent proposal will end the current practice of forcing a raped woman who bears a child from having to make an unpleasant choice between receiving child support from the rapist or termination of parental rights.

Schlossberg's legislation would require convicted rapists who father a child to pay child support – even if their parental rights are terminated.

“As unbelievable as it sounds, currently in Pennsylvania, rapists can enjoy parental rights as the result of a loophole in the Domestic Relations Law that strips them of child support obligations if those rights are terminated,” Schlossberg said. “No rape victim should be forced to pick between parental rights and child support – and a rapist should be penalized for his crime, not rewarded with parental rights that may further torment his victim.”

In Pennsylvania, termination of parental rights ends the obligation to support the child. Even when those rights are terminated because the father raped the mother.

“This creates a huge injustice for a woman who may be further traumatized by being forced into maintaining even a cursory relationship with her attacker,” Schlossberg said. “The law should punish the rapist, not the woman who courageously bears a child as a result of such a heinous crime.”

Schlossberg said his bill has been drafted and is being circulated in the House of Representatives for co-sponsors before its formal introduction.

“As a legislator, anything I can do to give rape victims more rights is a step in the right direction,” Schlossberg said. “The legislature can do nothing to make a rape victim whole, but we can certainly do more to eliminate a painful choice between getting help with child-rearing costs or reliving a horrific experience.”

Hopefully, there will be strong bi-partisan support for what is undeniably a good piece of legislation.

27 comments:

Ken Kraft said...

Way to go Mike. This is a long needed fix to the law and I applaud you for doing this. Great Work

Anonymous said...

How many of these situations has ever occurred?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no data. But I have seen it. i would think once would e enough to want to make a change. your question actually borders on idiotic. murder happens rather infrequently, too.

Anonymous said...

This guy is a liberal shmuck. He went against the state constitution forcing police to ticket people in Allentown who talk on phones knowing full well that is was illegal. But liberals don't care about laws when they get in the way of their views. He didn't come up with this bill, his staff did. He is a nice guy to talk with but his views are weird and everyone will see his true colors soon.

Anonymous said...

Jealous much?

Anonymous said...

He knew the cell phone issue was a legal challange, but it was an effort to push the legislature to act!

A bit of the effort was to get the story out on how a Muhlenberg girl was injured by a careless driver. Half of legislation seems to be intended to spark discussion of tough issues. I'm sick of drivers welded to their phones while driving/sitting at lights. You have to blow the horn to let them know the light changed or they'd sit through the change.

One driver the other day not only had the phone to her ear, but was eating. Just drive the car please.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This guy is a liberal shmuck.'

And that's a good reason for trashing a good idea? Do you realize how ridiculous and hateful you sound? When people ask what is wring with this country, i think of extremist hacks like you, both on the left and the right, and i have my answer.

Anonymous said...

Droit du seigneur (/ˈdrɑː də seɪˈnjɜr/; French pronunciation: ​[dʁwa dy sɛɲœʁ]) was a putative legal right allowing the lord of a medieval estate to take the virginity of his serfs' maiden daughters. Critical medieval scholarship now regards this supposed right as a myth, as one recent specialist has put it, "the simple reason why we are dealing with a myth here rests in the surprising fact that practically all writers who make any such claims have never been able or willing to cite any trustworthy source, if they have any."...Ever heard of "Having-the Milkmam's-Eye's"?

Anonymous said...

No, neither has anyone else but you. Me thinks you are on the wrong blog.

What is a "milkmam"

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:21, Please, stick to the subject. I am going to be deleting you wholesale if you can't follow that simple rule.

Anonymous said...

Good bill. Will he stay around long enough to pass it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Now that's fair.

Anonymous said...

According to Mosaic Law, “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives” Isn’t that barbaric?

First, the Mosaic Law is hardly about letting a rapist off easy. The consequence for raping a woman engaged to be married was stoning . If the woman was not engaged, the rapist was spared for the sake of the woman’s security. Having lost her virginity, she would have been deemed undesirable for marriage—and in the culture of the day, a woman without a father or husband to provide for her would be subject to a life of abject poverty, destitution, and social ostracism. As such, the rapist was compelled to provide for the rape victim for as long as he lived. Thus, far from barbaric, the law was a cultural means of protection and provision.

Anonymous said...




An obscure state law on rape has freed a convicted rapist from prison. According to an appellate judges' ruling:

"This provision of the law where it only applies to a married woman as a victim really dates back to the mid 1800s, and while the legislatures had many opportunities to amend and revise the rape statute, for some unexplained reason they never got around to amending this particular statute,"

Anonymous said...

If Mosaic Law is of the Hebrew(Judeasm/Jewish)precursor of Christian-Based Law....AND we are a Nation of Christians.......Which Law's do We the People follow? We could really use a clue. Please?

Anonymous said...

This is smart. Pick an issue like this for your first piece of legislation. Who can be against this? Very smart move.

Anonymous said...

o_0

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
This is smart. Pick an issue like this for your first piece of legislation. Who can be against this? Very smart move. 11:19 AM"
Judge's,Parent's,Parole Officer's....to name 3 for Beginners. Need more??? Teachers

Anonymous said...

request denied

Anonymous said...

bernie,
For the last several weeks, this poster has written numerous screeds which dont make sense and have nothing to do with the subject. is a new Mezzacappa technique? He or she uses many words to say nothing. Didnt you warn them to knock it off or get deleted?

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting a Kennedy Clan takeover of our local politics? They wouldn't hold a Grudge after 47 years. Forgiveness & all that....

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:17, I believe the commenter is benign. He is from the Slate Belt, but I have warned him that his repeated OT comments will get him deleted and I have started already.

Anonymous said...

idiots and pseudo-lawyers that keep trying to make more laws on top of laws - THAT is what is wrong here in the US.
more and more laws will fix everything!

Matt M. said...

3:18, (and the Allentown Cell Phone Law Naysayers), if the American people could conduct their daily lives with common sense in mind, we wouldn't need more laws. But, alas, here we are, and I'm proud to know where Rep. Schlossberg stands on many issues. There are invisible state representatives in the Lehigh Valley who aren't as forthcoming with their support and votes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Iy's a little too soon to say that Mike is "forthcoming." I hope you are right, Matt, but he would be the exception, not the rule.

I really admired Doug Reichley when he was in the state house. I disagreed with most of his stances, but he always answered emails and was willing to face human service recipients after Governor Corbett cut the funding. That took guts.

LV state house members seem to be better than others.

Anonymous said...

not too soon.
If you had been present for Allentown council meetings you might have observed this individual sleeping between smirks.

Anonymous said...

These liberal Demn's are a real pain but this sounds like an OK deal if what he says is true. I will say that it seems the gay officials have more empathy with women issues than the straight ones.