RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A CBS2 news report has inspired a proposed bill that would prohibit spousal support in child sex abuse cases.
In May, CBS2’s Andrea Fujii talked with Carol Abar, who was sued by her ex-husband, Ed, for alimony even after he’d been convicted of raping her daughter.
Abar, however, said the judge assigned to the case watched her story on television and essentially threw out the lawsuit.
“He said that Mr. Abar is wasting his time and money,” said Abar. “I’m (relieved) that justice (has) been served.”
Due to a loophole under California law, Ed Abar, who spent more than a year in jail, would actually be eligible to receive spousal support from his ex-wife.
The court only takes domestic abuse between spouses into consideration when deciding alimony; child abuse is not specifically mentioned in the law.
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, of Murrieta, has introduced legislation to change that.
AB 681 would prohibit the award of spousal support to a spouse convicted of a violent sexual felony against a child (of the marriage).
“It was through your news station that we first picked up on this story, and it just really struck me. As a parent, it was unfathomable,” said Melendez. “I didn’t want to see more spouses, whether men or women, victimized in this way.”
Abar said the law must pass because she made a promise to her daughter.
“This loophole has to be closed, and I would continue that fight until that loophole was closed in the law,” she said.