When a San Francisco mom took her 13-year-old daughter to the doctor, her worst fears were confirmed: not only was the girl pregnant, but she identified her 42-year-old uncle as the father.
The uncle, Rigoberto Castro, was arrested in late July after the girl gave birth in May, reports the San Mateo Daily Journal. At that time, DNA testing confirmed that Castro was the father -- but even so, he maintains his innocence.
"Right now what I can tell you is that he intends to fight this," said Ruben Munoz, Castro's defense attorney, according to The Mercury News. "I believe he's not guilty."
Munoz said that he will request that Castro take a separate DNA test with an expert.
Though rare, it is possible for paternity tests to show incorrect results, according to the Tech Museum of Innovation. It isn't unheard of for a lab worker to accidentally mix up or contaminate the DNA samples or simply fail to perform the test correctly. Like most tests, DNA analyses are subject to human error.
Since paternity tests only consider approximately one six-millionth of a person's DNA, there could be other mix-ups from shared DNA; a test could identify the wrong brother or other family member. Furthermore, some people just have irregular DNA patterns for various reasons, which can cause erroneous lab results, so false positives and false negatives can and do occasionally pop up in these cases.
Prosecutors say that Castro had sex with his niece on numerous occasions between September 2016 and February 2017, notes the San Mateo Daily Journal.
The police report was filed in April, when the mom found out that the girl was pregnant.
Castro appeared in court on Aug. 3 but did not enter a plea. He was charged with seven felony counts that included aggravated sexual assault of a child, oral copulation with a person under 18, continuous sexual abuse of a child, and forcible child molestation.
Munoz'requested more time to look over the case and police reports, notes The Mercury News. They are scheduled to return to court on August 10.
The suspect is being held on a $3.5 million bail, though he and his attorney said that they are preparing to file a request to lower the amount of the bond.
Castro has also been ordered by the court not to have any contact with the victim under any circumstances, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal.