In the comments to my post about the Harry Chapin song Babysitter, someone pointed out the court case of State ex rel. Hermesmann v. Seyer, 252 Kan. 646, 847 P.2d 1273 (Kansas 1993). This is the real-life example of the Harry Chapin song. A 12-year-old kid has sex with 16-year-old girl. Except in the real-life example, the girl gets pregnant, goes on welfare, and the state welfare agency sues the father (now 13 years old) for reimbursement of the welfare money paid to the girl.
The Supreme Court of Kansas upheld the judgment against the 13-year-old kid. The Court wrote that the State's interest in requiring minor parents to support their children overrode its interest in protecting juveniles from their improvident acts, even when such acts might include criminal activity.
What an outrageous result! A 12-year-old kid is the victim of a crime (technically), and then he's punished for being the victim by being ordered to reimburse the state for the welfare payments.
Is this crazy result is just restricted to Kansas? Nope, many states have followed this decision. For example, in L.M.E. v. A.R.S., 261 Mich. App. 273 (2004), the Michigan Court of Appeals reached the exact same result, holding a minor responsible for child support, even though "the child was conceived as a result of [the mother's] criminal action in having sexual relations with respondent when he was a fourteen-year-old boy." The mother was six years older than the statutory rape victim. She was also married, and the woman's husband thought the kid was his own for more than a decade, until they got divorced and a paternity test showed that the kid belonged to someone else. And then, out of the blue, the statutory rape victim was socked with a child support order.
Our legal system has gone mad.
* * *
Another lesson from the L.M.E. case is that all men who think they are fathers should have a paternity test done just to make sure.