Back in 2003, Gabriel Cornejo, 45, was ordered by a Texas judge to pay child support to his ex-girlfriend who had recently given birth and swore he was the father. But he apparently did not know about the child.
Cornejo, who is already raising three children of his own along with two nephews, received an expensive surprise last year when a deputy served him court papers claiming that the state of Texas lists him as having another child, and he’s now on the hook for $65,000 in back child support payments.
After getting the news, he went to meet his supposed daughter, and while he thought she was a “wonderful girl,” a DNA test proved that she was not his daughter after all.
Cornejo’s ex-girlfriend and the state are expecting him to pay up anyway.
According to Texas’ family code, chapter 161 states that even if one is not the biological father, they still owe support payments that accrued before the paternity test proves otherwise. “I never thought in my whole life I would have to defend myself of something that I am innocent of,” he told reporters.
His ex-girlfriend’s attorney claimed that money was taken out of his paycheck several years ago. He didn’t contest it, because he says he didn’t know about it, but not contesting the payment makes it look as though he was ok with it.
Cornejo’s attorney, Cheryl Coleman, is going to try to persuade a judge to re-open the case, since the original court order cannot be amended. His other option is pay or face prison time.
The case will go back to court next month.
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