A California mother says that she was forced to pay spousal support to her ex-husband after he raped her daughter for years.
Carol Abar told KCBS that her former husband, Ed Abar, began raping her then-9-year-old daughter soon after she married him in 1991.
But the daughter, who did not wish to be identified, said she did not tell her mother for 16 years because she was terrified of her stepfather.
"He had threatened me that he would kill my mom; he would kill my stepbrothers; he would kill me," she recalled.
When Carol Abar found out, she filed for divorce. Because she made more money than her husband, a judge ordered her to pay alimony of $1,300 a month.
"The judge told me I had no proof. It was my word against him," she explained. “He had been raping her since she was little. Since I got married to him.”
Just last year, Ed Abar finally pleaded guilty to one of four rape charges and was sentenced to over a year in jail. After Carol Abar had paid about $22,000 in support, a judge temporarily halted the payments.
But now that he's out of prison, Carol Abar's ex-husband is asking the court to force her to resume the payments.
"He’s asking not just to resume the existing support of $1,300 a month, but he’s asking for what amounts to approximately $33,000 in past due support and that too is a miscarriage of justice," attorney Brian Uhl, who is representing Carol Abar, said.
Sherry Collins, an attorney for Ed Abar, insisted to KCBS that, her client was "entitled to some relief from the higher income producing spouse, so that the marital standard of living can be maintained."
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last year signed Assembly Bill 1522 to close a loophole that required some victims of domestic abuse to pay spousal support to their attackers. There is no California law that prevents child abusers from receiving spousal support, but a court could take any history of domestic violence into consideration.
Although Ed Abar is a registered sex offender, a plea deal prevents information about his case from being released to the public. He insisted through his lawyer that he was not guilty and that he only agreed to the plea deal to reduce jail time.
For their part, Carol Abar and her daughter still feel like they are being victimized.
"He victimized a little girl all these years and I have to pay him for that behavior," she lamented. "It just doesn’t make sense to me."