Michigan man hires someone to test DNA test for him, then places rat carcasses on woman’s porch.
A Macomb County, Michigan, man went to great lengths to avoid taking responsibility for a child, according to authorities. Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith filed charges against Ken May, 36, of Southfield, Michigan, who is accused of paying another man $500 to get a driver’s license in his name and take a DNA test claiming to be him. May and the 33-year-old Warren man he allegedly hired to take the test for him are now both facing felony criminal charges, including falsifying documents and tampering with evidence.
A woman had originally filed a complaint with Smith’s office seeking a judgment that May is the father of her child. This paternity case was dropped, but May’s complex scheme came to light after she reviewed video surveillance footage of the unidentified male going into the clinic to be tested and confirmed it was not the baby’s father. After reporting this, May allegedly put dead rat carcasses and a cow’s tongue outside the mother’s door to intimidate her and discourage her from working against him. Smith calls the case “egregious.”
May has been arraigned on charges of presenting a false certification, forging a driver’s license with intent to commit a crime, tampering with evidence and intimidating a witness. He was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bond and is due back in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township later this Monday. The other man is being sought by police on similar charges.
In general, a paternity DNA test is considered 99.9 percent accurate. Tampering with the test or its results constitutes “paternity fraud,” which typically occurs when a woman knowingly accuses a man of fathering a child he did not father. Paternity fraud also includes “attempts to dispel or assert paternity by tampering with a paternity test” according to the laws governing this type of testing. Court-supervised tests are the only paternity tests admissible in court.
State laws vary regarding the legal consequences associated with committing paternity fraud. There was a case back in 2008 in which a Pennsylvania man was convicted on a total of seven criminal counts relating to paternity fraud including “solicitation to tamper with, or falsify, public information intended for public record, and obstruction of the administration of Pennsylvania law for convincing a friend to impersonate him at the testing center,” according to court documents. He was sentenced to a maximum of 23 months in jail.
In the state of Michigan, men can become “dads by default” anyway, due to a number of reasons. In one case, a Michigan man discovered that two of the three children conceived by his previous wife were not his. This betrayal led to a divorce. However, a judge determined that because he raised the children as his own, he was the “dad by default” and the man was subsequently ordered to pay child support. A DNA paternity test confirmed he was not the father, but the results did not matter to the court. “Often times it doesn’t make a difference,” said Rep. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) of DNA test results.