Single Gay Dad Vindicated After Groundless Accusation of Raping Daughters

Posted on May 17, 2012


This story just gets my blood boiling, because I am the daughter of a single dad myself.  Artist and photographer Paul Rusconi, a single gay man, has young twin daughters.  Last year, he took this photo of himself in the bathtub with them.  And that led to his nanny and her husband accusing him of raping the children.  He was arrested, the children were taken away and given to the nanny, and then rape kits were performed on these little girls.  Six months later, with the kits turning up zero evidence, Rusconi was cleared of any wrongdoing and his daughters were returned to him.  I am glad for that, but wish it had not taken six long months!

Now, whatever one may think about taking baths with young children or of taking pictures of them in the bath, the mere fact that someone does this is neither illegal, nor the slightest indication of rape.  Good God.  What sick minds some people have.  Naked adult plus naked child is not – NOT –  automatic evidence of some sick perversion.  For those who think so, don’t go to Europe, where entire families from saggy old Grampa, to middle-aged Mom, to the nubile teens and right down to the babies, all get naked together to sunbathe at the beach or park, or go to the spa.

Mr. Rusconi says in his interview with KTLA that he is convinced that the accusations against him arose out of others’ opinions about his sexuality, and that he was targeted because he is a gay single father.  “They called me a sexual deviant and a pervert,” he says.  I find it ironic, and supremely ignorant, that a gay man was assumed to be attracted to toddler girls.  And sadly, it’s not just gay single fathers who face this kind of ignorance.

Back in the 1960s, I lost my mother at an early age.  My (straight) father did not remarry, and family life was hard on him in more ways than one.  Years later he revealed just how sick people were back then, too:  occasionally he would get the rather nosy question, “Who helps your little daughter in the bath?”  Upon replying that he did, he would get these embarrassed looks and mumblings along the lines that a woman should do that.  The hint, of course, being that my fortysomething widowed father might somehow be titillated by my very juvenile naked body.  Please.  Normal men (and I include gays in that group) are not turned on by children. That would be known as a “pedophile.”  Gay does not equal pedophile.  Single father does not equal pedophile.

Mr. Rusconi is suing his accusers, and I think he should.  He was accused of the most heinous crimes without the slightest shred of evidence, and his own children were taken from him for six months.  Anyone searching his name will turn up horrid news articles about these accusations.  The prejudices of so-called “normal” people who allow their minds to dwell in the gutter should not drag other people’s reputations and lives into the gutter as well.


Originally published at The Color of Lila.