Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gay, single father says he was falsely accused of raping his twin daughters because of his sexuality

This is a case we plan to follow because it raises disturbing questions about the ease with which a non-traditional father can be targeted with a false rape claim.

Celebrated celebrity photographer Paul Rusconi of Malibu was cleared of raping his two 20-month-old twin daughters, ending an ordeal that started last June when extended family family members, the girls' nanny and her husband, accused Mr. Rusconi of rape after seeing photos that he had taken of himself with his girls in a bathtub.

Mr. Rusconi was immediately arrested, immediately jailed until he was released on $220,000 bond, and immediately separated from his daughters.

What happened to the twins? Why, they were taken from Mr. Rusconi and handed over to their father's accusers, of course.  The accusers had convinced authorities that they were the best caretakers for the twins.

Mr. Rusconi says he was targeted because he is a gay single father.  "They all called me a sexual deviant and a pervert," Rusconi said. "That's all stemming from my sexuality."

Months later, a rape kit produced negative results and prosecutors were unconvinced by the allegations, so the famed artist got his daughters back.

Mr. Rusconi is now suing his accusers. He told a local television station: "My circle is much tighter. The people I let into my life is much tighter, and I intend on keeping it that way."

It's tough enough being a non-traditional father without having to experience ordeals like this.