12 Investigates: Man still owes support for child that DNA test says isn't his
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - Science says he's not the daddy, but a Colonial Heights man is still due in court this week to pay more than $20,000 in child support, and he could face jail time if he doesn't pay up.
Dwayne Parsons has been paying for this child for 13 years. It's cost him thousands of dollars. He's even been to jail over it.
He has DNA proof the child isn't his, but our legal experts say right now, he's still on the hook for it.
He's no lawyer, but Parsons has a file full of court documents. It's years worth of papers.
"That's supposed to be what they say I owe," said Parsons.
And then he has this one piece of paper, proof he says he shouldn't have to deal with any of this at all.
As many dramas do, this one dates back to a past relationship. His girlfriend told him she was pregnant and he was the father.
"That's how I was raised. But with that upbringing, when the child came into the world, I assumed full responsibility," said Parsons. "And I signed a birth certificate, which I probably shouldn't have."
Because, Parsons says, he had his doubts all along about whether he was actually the child's father. As the years passed, he became even more skeptical.
"The whole time, I'm just trying to get her to come to court so we can take the blood test, take the blood test... and Social Services child support behind me, 'Ok, Mr. Parsons, you gotta pay. She's on assistance, you gotta pay,'" said Parsons.
And he did pay.
"That's how much they saying I paid into," he explained, "which is $6,000 or $7,000."
While he waged a multi-year battle with his ex-girlfriend to get a DNA test, he admits he did miss some payments and ended up in jail for it.
"Whatever you owe in child support, that's what you pay before you get out. I owe $22,000," said Parsons.
Finally, 13 years later, he got his DNA test. The results? A 0.00% chance he was the child's father.
"It's just like a real burden had been lifted off of me, and like I felt unjustly treated," said Parsons. "Like the system just drug me, drug me, drug me drug me all through the mud."
With his proof, Parsons immediately changed the birth certificate. But here's the catch: we checked with our legal experts, who say Dwayne's still on the hook for all that back money in child support. Nearly $22,000 for a child that never was his.
Once a judge ordered him to pay, our legal expert says he must until a judge says otherwise. And so does the court paper calling him to trial on Wednesday.
"By this court date right here coming up, it just proves my point. Because now, not only do you see that I'm not the father, that I'm not - like this is a slap in the face to me. After all I been through, you gonna take me back to court again to get some more money?" asked Parsons.
Our legal experts say it could happen. A judge will have the final say.
To be fair, a judge could decide not to make Dwayne Parsons pay those back payments or to stop future payments. It's just up to the courts.
NBC12 did try various ways to contact the child's mother, even going to the most current address listed in court papers. She doesn't live there anymore.
Parsons is due in court in Colonial Heights Wednesday. We will continue to follow this story.
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