This is one of those tough cases that tends to cloud our judgment and make bad law. The father in question is clearly a jerk who doesn’t deserve to be a father. He has 9 kids from 6 different women, and he doesn’t keep up with child support.
Corey Curtis of Racine, Wisconsin was sentenced on Monday after pleading no contest in October to jumping bail and failing to pay child support. Curtis owes $50,000 in child support and $40,000 in interest and he was given probation only after agreeing to the judge’s request to not have any more children.
The 44-year-old man has fathered nine children with six different women, according to news reports.
Judge Tim Boyle of Racine County said he was disappointed he didn’t have the legal power to force the man to be sterilized and the prosecutor told Judge Boyle he did have the ability to restrict Curtis from having additional children, unless he could show ability to pay, as a condition of probation. Boyle agreed with adding the condition to the probation.
I think I’m okay with the actual ruling, since it’s merely a condition for his probation. I’m concerned that the judge thinks it’s a bad thing that he doesn’t have the judicial power to sterilize this man. We’ve been there before, and we cannot trust the government not to abuse such power. We can’t trust it not to abuse the power over child support payments now. I’ve heard of one such case where the child support payments were based on the assumption that the second wife *could* be earning more money if she joined the workforce instead of staying home to raise her own children, which is hardly just.
I’m also curious about the six women who keep having babies with him. Maybe they didn’t know, but it’s a fact that lots of women do choose to have babies with men they know are players with children scattered about the neighborhood.
Are these their only children, or do they also have other children by other baby-daddies? I am also well aware of cases like one I know of personally, where a mother of two children by two daddies had her third child with another daddy because that daddy, who already had six children by as many different women (and she knew it), asked her why she was ashamed to haev a child with him, after all, his other women had babies with him. Not the greatest judgment in the world, yes?
And in a recent murder trial, the young man on trial for murder had three or four young women who were each pregnant with his child. They sat together in the courtroom wearing t-shirts that said, “Don’t send my daddy to jail.” Like he’d be a great father if he weren’t in jail? He was only around 20, 21 years old, too. In fact, there were four very young men from about 18 to 23 or so involved in that case (including the victim), and between the four of them, they had already fathered over 20 children by far more than four women.
Our society is clearly broken.