Tuesday, April 11, 2006
A child custody battle between a teenage girl and the man who sexually assaulted her could establish a precedent for how Vermont courts resolve parental disputes over children conceived as the result of sexual crimes. The case centers on a baby boy born to a then-16-year-old woman in November 2004. Two months after the birth, the 37-year-old biological father pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a minor. Robert LeClair's victim was 15 at the time of conception, under the age of consent in Vermont. He did not serve jail time. Even as LeClair admitted culpability in the assault, he was pursuing partial custody of the child. In August 2005, a Windsor County family court judge denied the New Hampshire resident any custodial rights, and LeClair is challenging that ruling in the Vermont Supreme Court.
New report from The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, VT (last visited April 10, 2006 bgf)