Mother wanted after pregnant teen moves in with baby’s dad

Published 6:33 pm Saturday, December 10, 2011

A warrant has been issued for an Austin mother who pleaded not guilty in August to allegations that she allowed her pregnant 13-year-old daughter to live with the 18-year-old father of the baby.

The warrant for Epifania Lopez-Barrios, 31, was issued on Nov. 18 after she failed to appear in court for a scheduled hearing. Lopez-Barrios pleaded not guilty in August to two gross misdemeanor charges of knowingly permitting sexual abuse and contributing to the need for child protection or services.

The alleged perpetrator of the sexual assault, Fernando Lopez, 18, has been arrested.

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According to court documents, the Austin Police Department received information in July from Mower County Human Services that Lopez-Barrios’ daughter was five months pregnant and living with Lopez. According to the MCHS report, Lopez-Barrios agreed to allow her daughter to live with the man.

In August, a MCHS social worker reported to police that she had spoken with the mother, who agreed to keep the 13-year-old away from Lopez. However, the social worker received information later that day as to Lopez’s whereabouts, and police discovered him at Hy-Vee reportedly meeting with Lopez-Barrios and her daughter, court documents state.

When police spoke with Lopez-Barrios at Hy-Vee upon arresting Lopez, she and her daughter allegedly denied that he was the perpetrator. They later admitted he is the father of the baby. Lopez-Barrios told police she lied because she wanted the police and social worker to “go away.”

Lopez-Barrios was scheduled for a jury trial beginning Nov. 28, but due to the warrant and her unknown whereabouts, that has been canceled.