A prominent LA photog and gay father of two has finally cleared his name of scurrilous charges leveled against him by distant relatives who disapproved of his “deviant” lifestyle. Paul Rusconi, who famously sold a portrait of Preisdent Obama for $20,000 has successfully beaten back charges that he raped his two 20-moth-old daughters, Blaze and Zella.
Rusconi was arrested in his home city of Malibu, California, in June 2011 after two family members reported him to police for posting an allegedly inappropriate picture of himself in a bathtub with his two infant girls on Facebook. Police arrested Rusconi for lewd acts upon a minor and possession of child pornography and held him in custody on $220,000 bail.
Adding insult to injury, after Rusconi was arrested one of his accusers, who at that time served as the family nanny, was granted custody of Blaze and Zella.
“They only had the children for three months and then some of my very close family friends- who are essentially family- took over custody,” Rusconi told the Daily Mail, adding that he thinks he was targeted because the nanny objected to his status as a single, gay father. He asserts that both the nanny and her husband called Rusconi a “sexual deviant” and a “pervert.”
Ultimately, it was a negative rape kit performed on the twin girls that led prosecutors to drop the charges. Despite the shame of the accusations, Rusconi says the most important thing for him was getting reunited with his daughters.
"Things have been back to normal for a long time, since I got the girls back in mid-December. It's just now that the District Attorney has officially dropped the case so I can talk about it," said Rusconi.
Blaze and Zella are Rusconi’s biological children. They were both conceived with the help of an egg donor and a surrogate mother.