Man ordered to pay back child support for child he never knew was born and was NOT his child according to DNA.
Gabriel Cornejo, of Cypress, Texas, a father-of-three who is also raising two of his brother’s children, says he only found out his ex claimed he was the father of her 16-year-old girl, last year.
But even after a paternity test proved he wasn’t the father, Cornejo is still being held liable for unpaid child support because a court says he did not contest the paternity suit when his former girlfriend first submitted it in 2003.
Cornejo, originally from Panama, insists he was never notified about his ex’s claims at the time and is hoping to overturn the ruling when the case goes to court next month.
The saga began last year when the dad got a knock on the door from a deputy who turned up with court papers claiming he had a daughter.
Cornejo, who insists never knew about the girl, set out to meet the now 16-year-old.
The Houston dad, who described the teen as a ‘wonderful girl’ who was ‘very smart’ with a ‘lot going on for herself’, decided to have a DNA test at the urging of his wife Esmeralda Cornejo, and his ex.
But when the results came back, they were negative.
‘I’m not the father,’ he told ABC 13.
While you might expect that to be the end of things, for Cornejo, it was just the beginning.
His ex is still demanding that he pays what now totals $65,000 for the child, that is not his.
She first went to a Texas court in 2003 claiming Cornejo was the only possible father.
Her lawyer, Carel Stith, claims Corneo got a subpoena which he ignored, and some child support was taken from his paycheck long ago which he never fought it.
Cornejo claims he never received a subpoena and was not aware about the claim until last year.
But the court has taken his ex’s side and unless he can convince another judge to change the order, he will face a bill of tens of thousands of dollars.
‘They say he should have fought back then and he failed to do so,’ his lawyer Cheryl Coleman said. ‘But how can you fight something you don’t know anything about?’
If he fails to pay, he could land in jail.
‘Don’t stick your head in the sand,’ the girl’s mother’s lawyer said. ‘It won’t go away and there can be consequences even if you don’t do anything.’
Cornejo describes himself as the owner of GP Custom Works car shop in Texas, and appears to be a family on his Facebook page, sharing lots of pictures of himself with his kids and wife.
He has also
The case is due back in court in August.