• Rapist facing new charges, still wants visitation


    The man who admitted raping a 14-year-old, and now wants a relationship with the child born after the crime, remained locked up on Thursday as new information came to light that he's been charged with committing other crimes.

    Jamie Melendez received 16 years of probation when he pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory rape last year. Now he wants visitation rights with the child he fathered after the crime.

    The probation department wants to send him to prison for violating his probation. He is charged in Dedham District Court with four counts of credit card fraud, which his attorney says may violate his probation depending on the timing of events. Court records show he's accused of stealing a credit card from his friend's mother, where he was staying, and buying hundreds of dollars of electronics.

    Melendez allegedly committed two of the crimes the same week last year that he pleaded guilty to the rape charges. The other probation violations include leaving the state without permission and failing to register as a sex offender.

    Today's hearing in Middlesex Superior Court into whether to revoke his probation on the rape charge and send him to prison was continued until Oct. 25.

    Up until now, FOX Undercover has not identified Melendez in order to help protect the victim's identity, who was 14 years old when the crime was committed. But the victim, her mother and the victim's attorney now say that publicly identifying Melendez will not cause the victim's identify to be revealed.

    Melendez's own lawyer says these violations could seriously impact his client's ability to get visitation with his child.

    "Clearly if Mr. Melendez is found to be in violation and sentenced to prison, he will not be able to make the hearing that's scheduled for either later next month or early December and as a matter of course the probate court will deny the request for visitation. Even if he's not in jail, the fact that he continues to violate probation, considering what happened, he still has to convince a judge in the probate court that's in the best interest of the child to establish visitation, which I think is going to be a tough burden for him to carry. At least right now," said defense attorney Steve Weymouth.

    The victim's attorney, Wendy Murphy, still wants the case out of family court.

    "The fact is no matter what he gets as a punishment for violating probation, he's going to get out at some point. And the question really is, when he's out, what will happen with regard to his demand for visitation. Right now, this child is tremendously vulnerable because judges not only have the discretion to order visitation in a case like this, but (it's a) constitutional mandate," says Murphy.

    Because of that, Murphy is appealing to the state's highest court to intervene so her client isn't forced to allow Melendez to see their child.

    Melendez remains in jail until his court hearing later this month.

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