Immigrant who abused stepdaughter in ‘anchor baby’ scheme faces 90 years in prison
Horacio Alvarado, 32, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, insisted on a paternity test in 2015 for a child born in 2012, apparently believing that fathering a child in the US would shield him from deportation, according to a criminal complaint seen by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
His scheme backfired when the authorities discovered that the mother of the infant was 15 at the time of conception - and also his stepdaughter.
Alvarado now faces charges of first-degree sexual assault, repeated sexual assault of the same child, and incest with a child by a step-parent. Alvarado pleaded not guilty at a court appearance last week, and is being held by authorities on $20,000 bail. He faces up to 90 years in prison.
His wife, Linda Alvarado, has been charged with misdemeanor child neglect, after it was discovered she became aware of the assaults but did nothing to stop them. She was released from jail on a $500 signature bond.
The victim, who is now 22, came forward to the authorities with her story last month. She said the assaults began when she was 14, and continued for the next four years at the family's home. The assaults typically occurred while her mother, Linda, was sleeping or at work. Other times, Horacio would take the girl to a friend's house or to a parking lot, where they would have intercourse in his car.
The assaults continued after she was impregnated by Alvarado, persisting until she reached the age of 18, the victim said. Her child was born in February 2012.
Authorities said that Alvarado initially wanted the paternity test because he was living in the US illegally, and thought that establishing himself as the father of the child would allow him to keep living in the country, the Milwaukee Patch reported.
In 2014, the Obama administration established a program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), under which illegal immigrants whose children were American-born would be shielded from deportation. The program never officially went into effect, however, as it was blocked by the courts in February 2015. In June 2016, the US Supreme court was evenly split about the law, allowing the injunction to remain in effect. The Trump administration rescinded DAPA in June 2017.
Last month, before Alvarado was charged, a court commissioner gave him “primary placement” rights to the child, and gave the mother “reasonable” visitation rights, according to court records seen by the Journal Sentinel.