Wanted mother deported; 13-year-old pregnant daughter may be eligible for green card

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A former Austin woman with a warrant for her arrest has been deported.

Epifania Lopez-Barrios, 31, is accused of allowing her pregnant 13-year-old daughter to live with the 18-year-old father of the baby. According to court documents, Lopez-Barrios and the father of the baby were deported to Mexico prior to Sept. 17.

A warrant was issued for Lopez-Barrios on Nov. 18 after she failed to appear in Mower County District 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.

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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 the alleged perpetrator of the sexual abuse, 18-year-old Fernando Lopez. According to the MCHS report, Lopez-Barrios agreed to allow her daughter to live with the man.

Lopez was arrested in August after police discovered him with Lopez-Barrios and her daughter after they agreed to stay away from Lopez.

According to court documents, Lopez-Barrios’ daughter is in the protective custody of Mower County in out-of-home placement and was not deported to Mexico with her mother and Lopez. A letter from the girl’s godmother to the court stated the girl would likely end up in a customary marriage with Lopez if she were deported to Mexico.

If the court orders in the child protective matter that the girl should not return to her mother’s care, the girl could be eligible for a green card or U.S. passport.

Both Lopez-Barrios and Lopez have pending criminal cases in Mower County District Court.