“Rachel Bevilacqua (a.k.a. Reverend Mary Magdalen) lost custody of her son after a conservative custody judge was outraged at the fact that she is a member of the Church of the SubGenius. As a result of appearing in a adult-rated parody of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” custody of her son was taken from her and awarded to the boy’s father (the couple was never married). Rachel and her husband have fought a long, expensive battle to win custody of their son, while her ex-boyfriend’s legal costs have been entirely been handled by a pro-bono lawyer (who is a friend of his). Legal costs have exceeded $70,000 as of March 2007.”
As typical in cases of this nature, the one parent tries to draw out legal proceedings until financial situations force the other parent to drop out. Suffice it to say, justice won’t be done by such a situation. That fact that Bevilacqua’s affiliation with the Church of the Subgenius was (and still is) used against her is emblematic of the ongoing issues Pagans and other minority religions face in divorce and custody cases.
Here is what Rachel “Rev. Magdalen” Bevilacqua has to say about the current legal situation involving custody and visitation for her son.
“Basically, although I did win the case, it’s now going to appeal. Orleans County has, of course, offered to pay all the expenses for my ex’s appeals case, while I still have to pay for my appellate lawyers, which it turns out are different from regular lawyers and require a new $10,000 retainer to hire. I’ll still be represented by the same firm, Lipsitz, Green, Scime, Cambria, but a different individual will be handling the case. We go before the Fourth Circuit Appellate Division on June 2, and then they will make their decision within 30 days of that. I am cross-appealing to ask that the parts of the decision forbidding me to make or keep SubGenius art inside my home, travel with my husband for his job, and homeschool my son, be struck down. Until then, my son has to stay with my ex, though I am supposed to get ‘extended visitation.’ So far, I have not yet been able to actually access that extended visitation, as my ex says it will take a court order in writing to make him comply, and all we have is a verbal order. I hope that will be straightened out soon.”
If you have the means, why not donate to her legal fund: