When Walter Andre Sharpe Jr. signed for a certified letter from Dauphin County Domestic Relations in 2001, he didn't know he was signing on for a seven-year nightmare. Since then, the Philadelphia man has been thrown in jail four times, lost his job, become estranged from his four children and spent more than $12,000 to support the child of another man.Men are guilty until proven innocent. Someone should have been jailed for fraud.
It finally stopped in May 2007 when a judge reversed a finding that he was the father. But the same judge has since ruled that Sharpe is not entitled to any compensation, not even the money he was forced to pay to support the child.
Sharpe's attorney, Tabetha Tanner, said the county Domestic Relations office "stole" Sharpe's identity by exchanging his date of birth, address and Social Security number for that of the father.
The agency fought Sharpe's attempts to have DNA testing and said it determined he was the father "after reasonable investigation."
Yet it took The Patriot-News less than an hour to track down the real father, Andre Sharpe, who said the girl that Walter Sharpe has been paying support for has been living with him for the last four years.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Man pays for county's mistake
A Pennsylvania newspaper reports: