ONTD Political

Trigger warning: Alleged rapist seeks custody of child

1:47 pm - 06/18/2013
Pyper Grogg, now 17, became pregnant with baby Noah at age 14. The Grogg family is now seeking to terminate the parental rights of Noah’s father, Alexander Nelson. Nelson was tried in military court on counts of sexual assault, statutory rape and committing an indecent act but was acquitted of the charges.

A rape acquittal in a military court has left a Pulaski County family worried that a state court might order visitation or grant custody to the former soldier who impregnated their 14-year-old daughter.

Associate Circuit Judge John Clayton will hold a hearing in Waynesville tomorrow on motions in the guardianship and adoption case filed by Angela and Doug Grogg regarding their grandson, Noah. They are also seeking to terminate the parental rights of the father, Alexander Nelson of Smithland.

In response, Nelson has filed paperwork to intervene in the case, seeking custody and visitation and to change the boy's name.


Pyper Grogg, now 17, became pregnant in December 2010. She did not reveal what happened to her until she was more than five months pregnant. Nelson, a 19-year-old soldier home on leave from Florida, had been introduced to the Grogg family the previous day by mutual friends.

A gap in Missouri law governing sex between minors and adults led the family to agree to have the case tried in a military court. The toughest statutory rape laws deal with sex between adults and minors under 14. Second-degree statutory rape only covers sex between someone 21 or older and someone under 17.

Lawmakers attempted to close the gap this year as they rewrote the general rape law. If approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the bill will make it a Class A felony to have sex with someone incapable of giving consent, which includes anyone younger than 17.

Nelson was charged under the military code with aggravated sexual assault, statutory rape and committing an indecent act. The trial took place in December in Virginia with a six-member, all-male jury. "We are living in hell," Angela Grogg said. "We are smack dab in the middle of a nightmare we are never going to wake up from."

Nelson was acquitted on the sex charges but convicted on a drug charge from a separate incident and left the military with a less than honorable discharge. In a brief interview this morning, he said he was not concerned about the feelings of Pyper Grogg or her parents as he seeks to have his parental rights recognized.

"All their accusations are unfounded, and they actually took it up through court and I was acquitted," he said. "It is my son. Wouldn't you do the same?"


He referred all other questions to his attorney, Mark Prugh, who declined to be interviewed today.

Pyper Grogg carried Noah to term and kept the child because of her family's strongly held religious beliefs. Since the birth of Noah, Angela Grogg has become an advocate for families who keep their children after rape. After hearing their story, Missouri legislators last year passed a law suspending custody proceedings in rape cases until the criminal case is completed.

The changes in law, said Colleen Coble, director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, are designed "to cover the broadest range where the survivors of rape were not afforded justice under state law. Every single change to law in my experience comes from someone who is failed by the law, and that is the situation here."

Pyper Grogg said this weekend that she never wants to see Nelson and does not want his money for child support. If the court grants his request, she said, he will be a part of her life until she dies.

"It is like I will be raped over and over and over and over again if he gets what he wants," she said. "I want justice for what was done to me because the Army didn't give me that."


In court, Pyper Grogg will be represented by a guardian ad litem, Katie Anderson, and Noah will be represented by his own guardian ad litem, Deborah Hooper. The Grogg family is represented by attorney Kimberly Lowe.

Pyper Grogg, Anderson and Hooper met Friday. The first question Hooper asked Grogg, Anderson said, was "why didn't you scream" when Nelson began having sex with her.

"It would be fair to say that Pyper was surprised by the question," Anderson said.

Anderson said she will argue against visitation for Nelson. "I believe it would be contrary to Pyper's best interests for her to have contact with the perpetrator in this case," she said.

Hooper said she could not speak about the case.

Lowe also said she was limited in what she could say before the hearing. "There is a chance that visitation could be granted tomorrow. I am not sure it is properly before the court. I am sure the issue of termination of parental rights would need to be decided before that can be addressed."

Pyper's Story from Kyle Karges Films on Vimeo.



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gambitia 18th-Jun-2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
"six-member, all-male jury [ . . . ] Nelson was acquitted on the sex charges"

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"The first question Hooper asked Grogg, Anderson said, was "why didn't you scream" when Nelson began having sex with her."

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"I was told that I would have gotten an abortion if it had been rape"

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policraticus 18th-Jun-2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
will make it a Class A felony to have sex with someone incapable of giving consent, which includes anyone younger than 17

In this case, a high school senior can't have sex with a high school junior.

There are a whole lot of rapists out there, of both genders, if this is the case.
violetrose 18th-Jun-2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
I hope that keeping Noah was her own decision - it seems she does love him. And considering how far along into the pregnancy she already was, it would've been harder for her to get an abortion, even with parental consent.
violetrose 18th-Jun-2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
These situations are far too common, much more than one might realise. It's similar to many cases of teen pregnancy where the father is often significantly older than the mother, and the pregnancy is often a result of statutory rape. But we don't want to think about these issues, and instead, pretend the 'real' problem is all those slutty teen girls that lead good men astray, get pregnant on purpose so they can get on welfare and sue the father for child support. Or whatever the ridiculously sexist notion about teen girls, and teen mothers especially, is currently in vogue.
violetrose 18th-Jun-2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
Furthermore, I wonder if this isn't a ploy on Nelson's part to further entrap Pyper to him. If he is granted custody and visitation rights, then it will be likely Pyper will have to see him at some point, maybe even alone. This is honestly a very likely scenario, particularly in light of the fact that rapists and abusers often use children (and forced impregnation) as a way to keep their victims close to them.
furrygreen 18th-Jun-2013 07:54 pm (UTC)
furrygreen 18th-Jun-2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
I mean, WTF is this: "The first question Hooper asked Grogg, Anderson said, was "why didn't you scream" when Nelson began having sex with her."?
tabaqui 18th-Jun-2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
I can't even read this article, because the basic story is making me want to vomit. Quoted bits in comments are just adding fuel to the flame.

FUCK this guy, fuck this six-man jury, just FUCK.
myrrhmade 18th-Jun-2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Me too, I'm honestly super queasy rn.
zinnia_rose 18th-Jun-2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
Everything about this story makes me want to throw up. There is NO WAY sex between a 14-year-old and a 19-year-old was consensual. Fuck that jury. I really hope Pyper chose to keep her baby and wasn't pressured/forced by her family. I don't want to imagine what kind of parents would force their 14-year-old daughter to keep her rapist's baby.

Nelson is a shitty human being and I hope he's kept far, far away from Noah and Pyper.
akashasheiress 18th-Jun-2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
Jesus, that poor, poor child (Pyper, that is). And it seems to me that her rapist's real motivation is simply to torture her further.
effervescent 19th-Jun-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm thinking.
vulturoso 18th-Jun-2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
He wants to rename the child. Fuck this manipulative asshole.
poetic_pixie_13 18th-Jun-2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
(Dedicating this comment to policraticus)

Men are predatory, abusive pieces of shit and I fucking hate them.
violetrose 18th-Jun-2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Gurl. Gurl.

I think we're gonna end up on SF_D again soon.

Edited at 2013-06-18 10:39 pm (UTC)
that_which 18th-Jun-2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
"All their accusations are unfounded, and they actually took it up through court and I was acquitted," he said. "It is my son. Wouldn't you do the same?"

If I believed that being in his life was the best thing for my child, I would have attempted to establish parental rights long before this age.

I'm going to guess a nice check from the grandparents would do a lot to overcome his belated parental impulses.

Also, this:

"I was told that I would have gotten an abortion if it had been rape"

Aw, Mark Prugh, "co-leader for Officer Christian Fellowship at Fort Leonard Wood" and "past District President (North) of the United Methodist Men," you must be so proud to be the attorney of record in this case.
dw_10rosefan 19th-Jun-2013 12:49 am (UTC)
"The first question Hooper asked Grogg, Anderson said, was "why didn't you scream" when Nelson began having sex with her."

Is this lawyer stupid or something?


lovedforaday 19th-Jun-2013 01:31 am (UTC)
And to think she's the baby's guardian ad litem. The person representing the baby's best interests thinks it's appropriate to smear his mother in court.
underlankers 19th-Jun-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
Wait, what? Why is the screaming factor relevant? Rape is rape.
moonshaz 19th-Jun-2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
Deuteronomy 22:23-27 (see above).

Yeah, I don't get it, either.
recorded 19th-Jun-2013 05:40 am (UTC)
Is the actual guy commenting on that article?
There's someone posting as "alex nelson"
mahsox_mahsox 19th-Jun-2013 03:35 pm (UTC)
If someone pulled that with one of my daughters, I'd be weighing up the utility of just killing him.
qara_isuke 23rd-Jun-2013 10:37 pm (UTC)


Fuck it. I'm out.
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