A Texas court ordered a Houston man to pay $65,000 in back child support even though a DNA test proved the child was not his.
Gabriel Cornejo, who has three kids of his own and is also raising his brother’s two children, was served court papers by a deputy telling him he is responsible for another child.
Cornejo met the girl for the first time after the visit.
“She turned out to be 15 or 16 years old at the time,” Cornejo told ABC 13. “[She’s] a wonderful girl. Very smart. A lot going on for herself.”
He agreed to get a DNA test.
“The results came in,” Cornejo said. “I’m not the father.”
Despite that, the girl’s mother, his ex-girlfriend, continued to press for the money.
“I never thought in my whole life I would have to defend myself or something that I am innocent of,” Cornejo said.
More, via ABC 13:
In 2003, Cornejo’s ex-girlfriend went to court and said Cornejo was the only possible father. The state of Texas started assessing child support payments, which continue to add up, now totaling nearly $65,000. Cornejo was never told, he claims. Court records suggest, but don’t prove, he got a subpoena years ago. He denies it.
The mother’s lawyer says child support was taken from Cornejo’s paycheck long ago and Cornejo never fought it. That can be enough to establish a lock-tight claim that he should’ve dealt with it long ago…
Unless he and his lawyer can convince a judge to take a second look there’s nothing that can change the old court order and Cornejo will still owe all that money.
“They say he should have fought back then and he failed to do so,” Coleman said. “But how can you fight something you don’t know anything about?”
If the court doesn’t reopen the case, he either pays or may go to jail.