Allen Park Mom Battles to Limit Visitation/Custody Rights of Sex Offender Parents

Amy Carns, an Allen Park mom with a 5-year-old daughter, has been battling the state of Michigan for some time in order to prevent her daughter from being alone with Donald Carns, her former husband and the girl’s father. He is a convicted sex offender who was arrested when the Carns’ daughter was an infant for soliciting children for sex on the Internet.

According to news reports, Carns has fought to keep her ex-husband from getting visitation or custody of the girl for four years. Donald Carns is a registered sex offender; after his arrest, Amy said that she began to worry about her daughter and how she could protect her from Carns. She called CPS (Children Protective Services) after filing for divorce from Carns, but said that she was told that unless her daughter was one of his victims, the agency could not do anything.

In a news conference on November 14, Carns urged residents to support Senate Bill 989 or the Michigan Children’s Protection Act, which is a bill that if passed would ensure that custody is not granted by judges to parents who are sex offenders and who pose a risk.

Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor and executive policy director for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence Kathy Hagenian spoke at the conference. Carns originally spurred this legislation back in February when the act was introduced. This bill, if passed, will essentially be an update to the Child Custody Act of 1970, and is meant to restrict the custody rights of parents who are sex offenders. Judges would only grant custody to sex offenders who were determined not to be a risk to the child/children.

News reports state that Donald Carns served 17 months in prison and 18 months parole for a felony offense that carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Since his parole ended, Carns has allegedly been pursuing visitation and custody of the couple’s daughter.

Hopgood said that he hopes the legislation will be considered and discussed on November 27 when the Senate reconvenes.

As Michigan sex crimes lawyers, we work to protect the rights of individuals who have been accused of or arrested for sex-related offenses such as internet sex crimes, sexual assault, date rape and criminal sexual conduct. We know the severe penalties individuals face when convicted of these crimes.

If you have been charged with a sex offense, it is urgent that you speak with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crimes attorney at once. Your future, reputation and freedom depend on it.

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