Nick Olivas was justifiably a bit surprised when he received papers for $15,000 in back child support for a six-year-old child that he never knew that he had fathered. He was even more surprised that the demand and threat of jail was triggered by a woman who had had sex with him when he was 14. That would constitute statutory rape and make the woman a rapist but he never reported the crime to the police. Now he could go to jail at the behest of the woman.
The woman was 20 when she had sex with the 14 year old boy. He could not legally consent to such relations under state law.
Olivas wants to be part of his daughter’s life and balks at the notion of back payments, including while he was a minor. He is now 24. He is a high school graduate and went to college and became a medical assistant.
When he received the original notice, he ignored it and never got the required paternity test. The state finally tracked him down and demand $15,000 in back child support and medical bills going back to the child’s birth, plus 10 percent interest. His bank account was seized and now his wages are being garnished at $380 a month.
He is not the first such case, but there are distinctions. In 1993, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a boy who impregnated his 17 year old baby sitter was liable of child support. She could consent to sex but not him. California also ruled that child support was due from a 15-year-old who was statutorily raped by a 34-year-old woman who was convicted of the crime. California Judge Arthur Gilbert (right) said that the boy was not entirely innocent in the matter despite the lack of legal consent:
California law provides that every child has a right to support from both parents. (Fam. Code, §§ 3900, 3901 [former Civ. Code, §§ 196, 196a, 242]; County of Shasta v. Caruthers (1995) 31 Cal. App. 4th 1838, 1841 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 18].) Family Code section 3900 provides that, subject to other statutes governing support, the father and mother of a child bear “equal responsibility” to support the child.
The law should not except Nathaniel J. from this responsibility because he is not an innocent victim of Jones’s criminal acts. After discussing the matter, he and Jones decided to have sexual relations. They had sexual intercourse approximately five times over a two-week period.
Here is that opinion: San Luis Obispo v. Nathaniel J.
Olivas now lives in Phoenix and Arizona has no exemption for children born to children.
Source: USA Today