Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
News : Recent Press Releases     Op-Ed     Publications     About the Legislative Press Bureau Printer Friendly View
1/29/2020 Rep. O’Brien reintroduces bill that terminates parental rights of rapists
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) has reintroduced legislation (2020-H 7330) that would terminate all parental rights of convicted rapists when a child is born from the assault.

Representative O’Brien notes that 28 other states in the country have a similar law on the books.
“Sadly, this is still a tragic issue in our society and that is why I reintroduced this legislation again this session.  Survivors of rape and their children should be free of the fear of being sued by their attacker for child custody,” said Representative O’Brien.  “Rapists operate out of hate and are incapable of providing the love that a child needs, therefore, they should not have any rights pertaining to that child.”

Representative O’Brien’s legislation would apply when the parent has been convicted of sexual assault upon the birthmother and a child results from the sexual assault.  After a fact finding hearing by the Family Court establishes the paternity of the child through DNA testing, the father’s parental rights would be terminated by order of the court.

Termination of the convicted father’s parental rights will include the loss of all parental rights without limitation, including the adoption of the child.  The convicted father will also have no right to any visitation with the child and will have no right to any inheritance from the child conceived as a result of the sexual assault.

“Unfortunately, many of these devious individuals sue for custody, even though they have no chance at winning the case.  These vile perpetrators do this to relive the rape and to further harass their victims.  This bill will put an end to this heinous practice,” added Representative O’Brien.

The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903