A judge in Jacksonville, Florida (yes Florida again…) has handed custody of a 3 year old girl to a registered sex offender, Donald Coleman.
The ruling ostensibly means that the 3 year old girl, Miranda Wilkinson, who since her natural mother’s death had been living solely with her maternal grandmother, Rita Manning will now have to live with her recently deceased mother’s husband- Donald Coleman, a convicted sex offender who had contested custody of the child pursuant to his late wife’s death.
And how did Mr Coleman become a sex offender you wonder? Breathe deeply as you read the following:
dailymail.co.uk: Mr Coleman became a sex offender after impregnating Miranda’s mother, Trista Crews Coleman, with another baby.
Ms Coleman died one month after Miranda’s birth in a car crash, reported First Coast News.
Ms Coleman was aged only 14 when she was first made pregnant, and he was 38.
However he is still Miranda’s legal father because he was married to her mother when she was born, reported WJXX-TV and ABC News.
At the time when he was meant to register as a sex offender, Ms Manning allowed her daughter to marry Mr Coleman as she was expecting a baby, that of Miranda. Subsequently the couple had 2 more children after the natural mother, Trista Crews originally got pregnant at age 14.
But what makes this case even more interesting is the fact that Mr Coleman filed for divorce a month before Trista Crew’s death, stating he believed Miranda to be the child of another man.
Further complicating matters is the fact that Ms Manning also has a criminal record, that of child neglect at the time her daughter first became pregnant to Mr Coleman and that of contributing to delinquency of a minor, though those charges were dropped in 1995.
At present state representative Janet Adkins is fighting to have the decision reversed. Adoption lawyer Michael Shorstein for his part is arguing that the family should have built a case against Mr Coleman before taking him to court.
What makes this case particularly disturbing is that on one hand Mr Coleman is her biological father, even if he doubted that from the very beginning and despite his record of sexual truancy. That said, the law stipulates that a child under a certain age should never be around a sex offender, even if that offender is her very own father. Which makes one wonder is Florida is still attached to the rest of America or did it recently become it’s own state with its own mandate and special laws that leave children in the junk category? Caylee Anthony would be shaking her head from heaven…