Paulin Speaks About Amendment to Domestic Relations Law

Albany – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88th District) will be discussing her proposed legislation to amend the current Domestic Relations Law in a 1 p.m. press conference on June 5 in the LCA Press Room (Room 130 in the Legislative Office Building).

Paulin sponsored A7188, which would prohibit courts from issuing an order of visitation to a person who has been convicted of sexual assault when the child was conceived as a result of such assault. The bill (S5069) was sponsored in the Senate by Dean Skelos (R-9th Senate District).

Rochester resident Nicholas D’Angelo, a recent graduate from The University of Buffalo, was conceived during a sexual assault. He will be joined by his mother at the press conference to discuss Paulin’s proposed legislation.

“Imagine the horror of being raped or suffering some other form of sexual abuse,” Paulin said. “Now imagine the trauma that would result if you found out were pregnant as a result of this attack. Many women would terminate the pregnancy after what would likely be a long, painful decision-making process. However, there are many women who elect to see their pregnancy through and keep the child.

“If a woman chooses to keep her child in New York State under these circumstances, the current law does not always sufficiently protect the woman from her attacker. The law provides that any person convicted of rape in the first degree has no right to be notified if the victim decides to put the baby, conceived as a result of the attack, up for adoption.

The issue arises, though, if the attacker is convicted of an offense less than rape in the first degree.

“More importantly, the law doesn’t restrict the attacker’s visitation or custody rights either. So the bottom line, right now, is that if a woman is attacked and a child is the result of that attack then the possibility exists that she would be forced to raise her child with the person who abused her”