Should a repeated sex offender gain custody of his young child? The recent arrest of a Massachusetts man on assault charges raises that question, reports MassLive.
In 1998, Westfield, Massachusetts, resident Jesse James Caisse was convicted of forcibly raping a child and then sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison. In 2010, after Caisse's release and completion of two years of probation, a Hampton County judge granted the sex offender sole custody of his young toddler daughter. While many believed the man was on his way to improving his life, recent events prove otherwise.
According to MassLive, Caisse was arrested last week on charges of indecent assault and battery. He allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl when she was visiting his daughter.
While many may wonder how Caisse won sole custody of his daughter in the first place, court records reveal the daughter’s only options were either her drug-addicted mother who was often neglectful, or her rapist father. Moreover, Caisse was undergoing rehabilitation that appeared to be working.
"Upon release, Mr. Caisse served a probation term of two years. During that time Mr. Caisse was compliant with all terms of his probation. As part of his probation, Mr. Caisse attended meetings at the Carson Center for sex offenders treatment and support every Friday night," Judge Linda Fidnick wrote for the case, documents MassLive. "Mr. Caisse was sent to the program because there was a serious concern he would re-offend. Mr. Caisse continued treatment at the Carson Center after his probation ended on a voluntary basis."
Although Caisse remarried and told the court he would be moving to Florida, the move never happened. Then, in 2014, Caisse reappeared on the radar again when a girl reported he assaulted her. With Cassie recently arrested, his daughter now is in state custody, reports MassLive.
This is not the first time a sex-offender was given custody of a child. In Oklahoma, a man was given custody of his child, even though he had been convicted of raping a child of the same age six years earlier. In that case, the mother was capable of caring for the child. The judge appeared to decide the case on the fact that the mother could not name all of her daughter’s doctors, according to KFOR.
“I don’t understand how a sex offender can just walk in the courtroom and just take her after I’ve had her for six years,” the mother, Lisa Knight, told KFOR.