Sarah Knight is on spring break.
That means she can fly back to Oklahoma to see her mom and cousin after a custody battle ripped them apart three years ago.
“She’s like ‘Now, I’m home’ because, anytime she flies back to Oklahoma, she puts her feet back on the ground here, and she says ‘This is home,'” said Knight’s cousin and second mom to her, Jody Coomer.
An Oklahoma County judge granted sole custody to Knight’s father, Nicholas Elizondo, in 2013.
It’s a baffling ruling to many, because Elizondo is convicted of raping his other daughter in 1995.
The girl was 6.
“For the life of me, I cannot understand how hearing one thing come out of the trial, and then his decision just out of left field like that was just mind blowing,” Coomer said.
Three years later, Knight still lives with her father in California.
At the time of the ruling, there was no law preventing a sex offender for having sole custody of a child.
But, after representative Jason Nelson saw our story spread on social media, he knew it had to change.
“This is not a DHS case. This was not an issue of alleged abuse and neglect. It’s unbelievable to rip the family apart and do this” Nelson said.
He authored a bill making it illegal for the Oklahoma court system to award custody to a sex offender.
While the law is too late to change Knight’s custody arrangement, they’re hoping at least it will prevent it from happening to someone else.
Now, they’re also pushing to give the law a new name.
“We were looking at, you know, maybe, at some point in time, calling it ‘Sarah’s law,'” Coomer said.
Nelson said he’ll try to work in this name change in the current legislative session.
“Ask the author to allow us to do that to name the law that we passed three years ago in her honor this year,” he said.
California also has a sex offender law.
Knight’s family said the commissioner there also granted the father full custody even though he’s a sex offender.
They said they’ll continue fighting.