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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son is in prison for raping a 17 year 4 month old woman.

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My son is in prison for raping a 17 year 4 month old woman. He was charged with raping an adult as the age of consent in Missouri is 17 years old. The legal description of a child under the juvenile code says that a child is anyone under the age of 17. The prison will not allow any sex offender to have visits with persons under the age of 18. Everything that I have read says that it is in the best interest of the child to maintain a relationship with the parent in prison. They say that children who are not allowed to do so usually end up in a lot of trouble for drugs, alcohol and truencey or other crimes and many end up in prison themselves. Those that are allowed visitation with the parent have a much better track record criminally as well as educationally. Can you tell me what case law or law to give to this judge to make him see that the prison is wrong and that he should be allowed to have contact and visitation with his child?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

I am sorry for your son's situation. This is a very subjective issue. Perhaps the following will be helpful:

"Though Wallace may be judged to be unfit, unable or unwilling to care for his children, nothing in the guardianship statute would preclude the court from allowing visitation by the father, thus maintaining the child-parent relationship that Wallace has with the children, for so long as the trial court finds that such provisions are in the children's best interests." Cotton v. Wise, 977 SW 2d 263 - Mo: Supreme Court 1998

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15356908989133947150

While there is no way to have him released (that is up to the criminal court), perhaps you can persuade the family court to allow some kind of visitation still, even with him in prison.

He says that he doesn't have law or caselaw stating the definition of a child.

A child is naturally anybody who is under 18.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please do not forget to click ACCEPT. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work – I receive no credit for my time with you unless you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you need more information, please use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to answer to your satisfaction. There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, if we continue the conversation. If you feel that I went an extra step to help you, a bonus in the form of another accept or an “add on” (available after you accept) is truly appreciated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I need the statute in missouri law that defines a child in criminal court procedings or the statute that contains the legal definition of a child in the state of missouri. He was tried for raping an adult and she was 17 years olf at the time of the supposed rape. I have the statute that defines a child under juvenile court law.

The judge does not want to fight with the department of corrections unless he knows that the legal definition of a child is anyone under the age of 17 years.

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

There are several different definitions of a child in the state, so you can pick whichever one is best for you. You already have the juvenile law court definition.

Family Law - Missouri Section 452.705(2):
"Child" means an individual who has not attained eighteen years of age.

Criminal Law - No Clear Definition. Depends on the charge. Statute 566.034(1): Second-degree statutory rape for someone at least age 21 to have sexual intercourse with someone who is less than age 17.

In determining legislative intent, the reviewing court should take into consideration statutes involving similar or related subject matter when those statutes shed light on the meaning of the statute being construed, State v. White, 622 S.W.2d 939, 944 (Mo. banc 1981), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 963, 102 S.Ct. 2040, 72 L.Ed.2d 487 (1981).

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please do not forget to click ACCEPT. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work – I receive no credit for my time with you unless you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you need more information, please use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to answer to your satisfaction. There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, if we continue the conversation. If you feel that I went an extra step to help you, a bonus in the form of another accept or an “add on” (available after you accept) is truly appreciated.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 86711
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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