MILWAUKEE, WI (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) – As an undocumented immigrant, Horacio Alvarado thought if he could show he was the father of a newborn American citizen, he would be allowed to remain in the United States himself.
But the paternity test ultimately resulted in more severe charges for Alvarado because the mother of the child was only 15 and was his stepdaughter, according to a criminal complaint.
Alvarado, 32, now faces three felonies for what investigators say were several years of sustained sexual assaults, assaults his wife later knew about yet did nothing to prevent, according to the complaint.
Alvarado is charged with first-degree sexual assault, resulting in pregnancy, repeated sexual assault of a child and incest. He pleaded not guilty at a court appearance last week and is being held on $20,000 bail but has a bail hearing next week.
His wife is charged with child neglect, a misdemeanor.
The criminal complaint says the victim came forward last month to report the offenses, which she said began when she was 14 and continued for four years. The assaults took place at the family’s south side home when her mother was at work, or late at night when the mother was asleep.
Other times, the victim told police, Alvarado would take her to a friend’s home or to random parking lots where they’d have sex in his car.
The assaults continued after the victim became pregnant at 15 and later delivered the child, the complaint says.
When she was 17, the victim told police, her mother walked in on Alvarado sexually assaulting her in their home. The mother then sat down and spoke with her husband in Spanish but said nothing to her, and the assaults continued.
The complaint doesn’t indicate when, but at some point, the girl told her mother that Alvarado was the father of her child, and his paternity was established in court in 2015, and there appeared to be a dispute between the victim and Alvarado regarding custody of the child earlier this year.
According to court records, a court commissioner last month entered an interim order that Alvarado should have primary placement and that the child’s mother would have reasonable visitation rights.
Police investigating the sexual assaults retested Alvarado and confirmed his paternity of the child, and that Alvarado was married to her mother during the period the victim said he was regularly having sex with her.
Alvarado apparently believed in the so-called anchor baby myth, that having a child born in the U.S. might protect illegal immigrants from deportation. It does not, even when the birth is not itself the result of a felony sexual assault.