Monday, December 20, 2004
Man Paid Support for Non-Existent Child :
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson's (search) office is calling for an investigation into how a man was forced to pay child support for a child that didn't exist.

Steve Barreras was hauled into court, peppered with threats and paid out $20,000 in child support. Then his ex-wife was ordered to produce the child in court.

So last week Viola Trevino picked up a 2-year-old girl and her grandmother off the street and promised them a trip to see Santa Claus.

Instead, she allegedly took the girl into court and said she was her daughter.

The elaborate ruse stretched over five years and involved fake DNA evidence, a forged Social Security number and birth and baptismal certificates.

State District Judge Linda Vanzi ruled the child did not exist."

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