Mom in rape custody case says state benefits cut - WNEM TV 5

Mom in rape custody case says state benefits cut

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Source: (Michigan Department of Corrections) Source: (Michigan Department of Corrections)

A Mid-Michigan woman caught up in a custody case with the man who raped her is now losing food stamps and health care for her 8-year-old son.

The Detroit News reports Tiffany received a call from the state health department this week notifying her of the change.

They said it’s because of a GoFundMe page that raised more than $100,000 on her behalf. Tiffany said she had hoped to put that fund towards a new house, but with the loss of benefits, she said she’ll be forced to rent.

The campaign is no longer valid.

"I couldn't believe it. I was absolutely astonished," said Rebecca Kiessling, Tiffany's attorney.

Kiessling believes Tiffany is being violated again.

"She was planning on putting all of the money into getting a house. So that she would only need it to be able to feed them, to be able to have the food stamps and to be able to have health care coverage," Kiessling said.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said he could not comment on this case or any other individual case, but donations from a GoFundMe page are considered an asset. He said that could impact someone's eligibility for food assistance. He also said people receiving state benefits have to report any changes to their income within 10 days.

"The sad thing is that if she blows all this money she could qualify for state aid again," Kiessling said.

The MDHHS spokesperson said the state has to abide by the statutes set in place by the federal government for assistance.

Kiessling insists her client has been through enough and shouldn't lose her benefits.

"Why can't they encourage her to invest this in housing for her and her son? And keep the food stamps and feed her son and let her get a roof over her head," Kiessling said.

Tiffany made headlines in September after a judge ordered convicted sex offender Christopher Mirasolo be given parental rights to the boy. The order was later suspended.

>>READ MORE: 'It's crazy': Victim speaks out about custody battle with convicted rapist<<

Mirasolo himself never tried to gain custody. It all came about when Tiffany first asked for state assistance for her child.

An assistant Sanilac County prosecutor was fired over his handling of the case.

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