Judge Orders DNA Test

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March 18,2005

Judge orders DNA tests to see if teen fathered ex-teacher’s daughter

By The Associated Press

(3/18/05- HOUSTON) — A judge has ordered genetic tests to determine whether a woman’s 2-year-old daughter was fathered by one of her teenage students.

Lisa Zuniga has admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy who was a student at Victory Academy in Pasadena, where she worked as a teacher’s aide.

The boy, who is now 16, and his mother are suing for custody of the toddler.

Zuniga, now 29, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in January 2003 and was sentenced to deferred adjudication and 10 years’ probation.

No paternity test was performed after the girl was born on Feb. 7, 2003, because of Zuniga’s plea. Zuniga’s attorney, Ralph E. Alvarez, argued that the boy and his mother, who live in Oklahoma, expressed little interest in the child until this bid for custody.

The attorney for the boy and his mother disputes that contention. Butch Bradt said his clients were able to visit the child until recently.

“That changed last summer when Lisa got married,” Bradt said. “All of a sudden, (they) do not get to see the girl when they come visit, and presents they send are returned.”

Bradt noted that Zuniga’s mother had been the girl’s primary caretaker but no longer looks after her. He said Zuniga’s new husband has expressed interest in adopting her.

Bradt said his clients “just don’t feel comfortable that there is no supervision through the maternal grandmother. We are talking about a sex offender here.”

Alvarez said Zuniga has been attentive and responsible since her daughter’s birth.“These are things that occurred before the baby was born,” he said. “And since that day, she has been the ideal mother. She is trying to get her life together.”

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)