A Houston, Texas, man must pay child support for a child that is not biologically his after he missed a court hearing he said he knew nothing about.
Chron reports that Gabriel Cornejo, 45, took a DNA test over the paternity of a 16-year-old child, although his former girlfriend said there’s no way the child wasn’t his. The test proved the former girlfriend wrong, yet, Cornejo still owes $65,000 in child support.
According to Texas’ family code, chapter 161, Cornejo still owes child support up until the time he took the DNA test because he did not contest his former girlfriend’s paternity claim in 2003. Cornejo, who has three biological children of his own, told the court that no one ever served him or notified him about his ex’s claim.
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Cornejo said he had never knew about the child until last year, when a deputy knocked on his door and served him court papers that claimed he has a 16-year-old daughter. He met the girl and said she was a “wonderful girl,” but at his wife’s recommendation, he took a paternity test to make sure was indeed the father.
“I’m not the father,” Cornejo told ABC 13.
His ex-girlfriend’s lawyer, Carel Stith, argued that Cornejo did get the subpoena in 2003, but ignored it. She also said he ignored child support wages being garnished from his check.
Court records indicate that Cornejo’s paystubs at a previous car dealership job showed three garnishments of $31 from each check. Cornejo’s lawyer said that his client never received any letter from the state of Texas informing him about the garnishments.
‘There were three garnishments of $31 each when he worked at a dealership. He’s never gotten a letter from the state of Texas,” Coleman said. “
At issue is he’s still not the father.” Nobody is disputing that. The mother is not disputing that.”
Coleman also took issue with the supposed 2003 subpoena.
“I’ve researched the records and found that there is an issue with the service where they served him back in 2002. There are some anomalies with how this case handled by the attorney general’s office. He was never served with those documents in 2002 when the actual paternity petition was filed against him.”
Cornejo continues to fight the case. He’s due back in court in August, but should he lose and refuse to pay child support, he could end up in jail.
“Unfortunately, this young child is the one who suffers,” Coleman said.
Check back with Crime Online as additional updates become available.
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