Woman says accused child rapist took her to court, won visitation rights to their sons

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A 32-year-old Birmingham, Alabama woman said the state's laws have forced her to face the man she said raped her again and again.

With Alabama's recent abortion ban, Jessica, who has asked to have her last name omitted from this story to protect her children, said her story has gotten national attention - showing how the state is failing rape survivors.

Jessica told WIAT she was continually raped by her step-uncle.

Despite evidence, including a DNA test, he was never convicted.

"Well it all started when I was 12 or 13-years-old, and he started climbing in my bed at night," Jessica said.

She was impregnated four times as a result.

At 14, she miscarried, at 16, she had a baby boy, and at 18, she had her third child who later died. Then at 19 she had her youngest son.

"I literally just felt like I didn't have any options," Jessica said.

Her accused rapist has been taking her to court and winning for visitation of her sons.

Jessica said she is sharing her story in hopes it brings change.

"You have to stand behind what's right, and you have to stand up for what you believe in. You know, it's been a very long, hard road for me, but it's going to be worth it," Jessica said. "It may not benefit my case, but somebody in the future will benefit from this."

"We are one of two states in the union that does not have a law that terminates the rights of a rapist," said Representative Juandalynn Givan, (D) Jefferson County.

Rep. Givan said her fellow lawmakers are wasting time passing senseless bills.

"I think the legislature is failing the women of Alabama. The justice system can do no more than what we enact into law," Rep. Givan said.

The man that raped Jessica still has visitation rights to her two children.

The judge told Jessica for each visit she denied her rapist, she'd have to spend 48 hours in the county jail.

Rep. Givan has already taken steps to pre-file legislation for next session that would strip rapists of their parental rights.

For resources for sexual assault survivors, call 800-656-HOPE.