Mother Ghosted On Previous DNA Tests (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


Please be seated. Hello, Your Honor. Hello. This is the case of
Johnson v. Rice.
Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good day. Ms. Johnson, you have summoned
the defendant to court today to prove that he fathered
your six-month-old son,
Jeremiah. BRIANNA: Yes, Your Honor. You are furious that
he never met your baby, and plan to prove
paternity today. Is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Rice, you say
you are 100% certain you are not her child’s
biological father, and you claim to know who is. Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE: All right,
so, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Rice has never
met your son? No, ma’am. Since he was born,
he wasn’t at the hospital,
nothing like that. Um… He hasn’t been there since
I was two months pregnant,
actually. Mr. Rice, you haven’t
seen the baby not once? You haven’t come to
see the baby once? No, Your Honor. Why would I come see a baby
that I don’t believe is mine? I have my doubts for a reason. Tell me what happened?
How did
this relationship start? Take me back. Okay, back in…
I wanna say June,
end of June, um, me and my boyfriend,
um, we broke up, and I was in my feelings, so I took comfort
in Mr. Rice. And we… We were friends
prior to that. Um, but it went further… Than expected. Uh, we had… We had sex, and I found out I was
pregnant in September. Back when we first met,
back in high school. I’ve always had
a crush on her,
you know. When she needed something,
you know, I would
be there for her, you know. Even when she needed
a shoulder to cry on, I was just that person
to be there. Okay, so you all have
a history. Yeah, and I finally
got my shot and I decided to take it. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. (LAUGHING) Like the old folks say, “Tell the truth,
shame the devil.” Let’s just tell it.
What happened? So you all start having
a sexual relationship? BOTH: Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE:
How long did it last? Uh, it lasted
about two months. Three? Three? I mean, two to three months. Tell me what happened when you
found out you were pregnant. Uh, I had just a regular
doctor’s appointment. I wasn’t feeling good.
And when I got in there, she said, she was like,
“Ms. Johnson, you’re pregnant.”And I was like, “What?”She was like,
“You’re pregnant.”
At first, I was in shock,like I was freaking out,
like, “Okay, I’m pregnant.”
And, um, me and him
had already… Me and Mr. Rice had
already talked about, you know, he said
he wanted kids and… I didn’t think
it was a problem. I thought he would be happy
that I was pregnant. I wasn’t. He was happy, but… Then, I just… I don’t know. JUDGE LAKE: Then what? I got in my feelings and we…
I broke up with him. I think it was more… Yeah, we broke up. I realized that my feelings
wasn’t as strong as they should have been, so I told him that I
didn’t wanna be with him. So, Mr. Rice, tell me
your side of the story. She tells you she’s pregnant and you say you’re
happy at first? Yes, I was excited
about it, until she decided
to tell me it could be her ex’s baby
or it could be my baby. So, tell me the story.
Tell me exactly what happened. She comes to you…
How did she tell you
that she’s pregnant? Well, first of all,
I had left my phone
in my brother’s car. I was at school. JUDGE LAKE: Okay. And he came and
told me about it. And then I got on
the phone with her,
and she told me. So, how did he tell you?
Was it on your phone? She was calling my phone. I messaged his friend, because I knew him
just like he knew him, so I messaged him with, like,
“Have you seen Mr. Rice?” And he was like…
He hadn’t seen him. But when he does, he’ll tell him, you know… I told him to tell him
I was pregnant. And he told him. And so, I call her.
I got on the phone with her, and I was talking to her. And I was excited
about it, you know. I was thrilled
and I was happy. This is something I
always promised myself to do ’cause I was left
as a child of my own. My mama raised me on her own. Okay. So you had in your mind… If I ever had kids,
I’mma always take
care of mines. So… So, go ahead.
Tell me what happens next. Well, we go on,
I go about… I go to about one
doctor’s appointment
with her. And after that,
she tells me
she has an STD. (AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) I said, “Okay.” So I go to the doctor,
I get checked,
I take the medicine, but the doctor
calls me the next day and tells me, “Sir, you don’t
have an STD at all.” That doesn’t make sense
to me at all, Your Honor. Because, I mean, I wasn’t… But if it doesn’t make sense… I wasn’t having sex
with anybody but him
during the time, so there was no way
that he didn’t have it because I wasn’t sleeping
with anybody else. She was there when
I took the test. Yeah, I was there
through everything. I’m the one that
told him to go… And so you were told
you don’t have the STD? Correct, so I called her
and I asked her, and the first thing she said
when I told her I didn’t
have the STD, she told me, “I didn’t cheat. “I promise, I didn’t cheat.
I won’t do you like that.” It’s the truth, I didn’t. I didn’t cheat. So what would that
tell you in your mind? If your significant other
tells you, you have a STD and the doctor tells you
you don’t have it? That would tell me
there’s a problem. KESTON:
There’s a major problem. And we’ve never had
protected sex, not one time
in our relationship. So, there’s my…
There’s my problem. JUDGE LAKE: So at that point,
the doubt rears its ugly head? Yes, Your Honor. And Mr. Rice has never
laid eyes on the baby? No, Your Honor. And you believe
her ex is Jeremiah’s
biological father? That… That means she
was cheating already. I haven’t cheated on him. I haven’t been
with anybody else but Mr. Rice. But it doesn’t make sense,
’cause right after we broke up, maybe a week or two later, she was right back with her ex. BRIANNA: But he knew that. She told me… He knew, he knew that I
wanted to be with my ex. He knew ’cause I told him, She told me. “I don’t have
feelings for you.” She told me this
out her own mouth. I said, “I care about you, “but I don’t love…
like, I’m not in love
with you.” So I went back to my ex
because that’s what my
heart wants. But she told me this
out of her own mouth. When she told me
she was pregnant, she told me she didn’t want it
to be James’ baby because she didn’t
wanna be with him. Did you tell him that,
Ms. Johnson? Yes, Your Honor. JUDGE LAKE:
So you did say that? Right, but I wanted to be
with my… My ex. But, no, I did not want
the baby to be his during
the time because… That’s another story. So, now, at this moment,
Mr. Rice, you believe Ms. Johnson’s
ex-boyfriend is the father
of Jeremiah, not you? Because when she told me
she was a month pregnant, it was in October. But if she was a month
pregnant in October, the baby was supposed
to be born in June. The baby was born
in April. Oh, so what you’re
saying is, the timeline was off
from the conception date
she gave you. Yeah, she told me
at the beginning, when she go to the doctor
and find out how long she is, whether she’s two-month
or one-month, if she was two months pregnant, it will be James’ baby. But if she was
one-month pregnant, it will be my baby. And she told me
out of her own mouth, “I do not want it
to be my… “I do not want it
to be James’ baby.” So you believe she
manipulated the facts to make the child point
to you being the father? Yeah. But then, when you heard
about the STD… That just…
That just made it worse. JUDGE LAKE: The doubt? That just made
the doubts worse. You got a little smirk
on your face, Ms. Johnson. That’s because he lying, but… JUDGE LAKE: You don’t think
he’s telling the truth? No, we didn’t get
together until… We literally didn’t
start dating. The first time we had sex
was July 17th of 2016. JUDGE LAKE: All right, so… BRIANNA: First time. So, the bottom line is
you’re sticking to your story, BRIANNA: Exactly. that during the window
of conception, you were only sleeping
with Mr. Rice. That’s correct. All right, I would like
to hear from this other man in this saga. Jerome, please escort
Mr. Williams into
the courtroom. Sir, come with me. You’re going to
go up to the witness stand
next to the judge. All right. Mr. Williams, thank you
for joining us today. How you doing today? You know, we are here
to discuss the paternity
for baby Jeremiah, and we are here talking
to Ms. Johnson and Mr. Rice about their brief relationship. And Ms. Johnson believes
Mr. Rice is her child’s
biological father. Yes, ma’am. Tell me what part
you play in this. Well, we got together, back together,
like, September, I’ve been there
since day one. Like doctor’s appointments, changing Pampers
and everything. Mr. Rice believes that
you and Ms. Johnson were still sleeping together
during the time they
were sleeping together because she admitted
she got an STD and he did not have it. So… Did you have one that
you could pass to her? No, ma’am, ’cause we had
took a test, too, and I
didn’t have it. You did not have it? Yes. So, Ms. Johnson,
was there somebody else? No, the only… I’ve never cheated in any
of my relationships. So, honestly, I don’t know
how neither one of them
didn’t have it. So you’re back
in this picture now taking on the role
of father, being there
for the baby? ‘Cause Mr. Rice has
admittedly said, “I don’t think
I’m the father, “so I didn’t step up
to take care of the baby.” He hadn’t even laid eyes
on the child for six months. Yes, ma’am. So, Mr. Williams,
when Ms. Johnson
was pregnant, tell me specifically, who did she tell you
was the father of the child? Mr. Rice. JUDGE LAKE: She told you
Mr. Rice was the father? JAMES: Yes, ma’am. I was angry at him
because of a situation that we had went through
before we broke up, so, no, I didn’t want him
to be the father. Hm. But then, you get back
together with him? Right. But, Mr. Williams, you admit that you thought at some point that were was a real
possibility that you were
the child’s biological father. Yes, ma’am. Do you still,
in the back of your mind, think that way, despite what
she tells you? Yes, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. JUDGE LAKE: You do? JUDGE LAKE: So you think
this is your biological child? Yes, ma’am. And so, Mr. Rice,
I can imagine that only furthers your doubt,
hearing this testimony, even if you’ve never
heard it before. It does, and I wanna tell you
about my DNA test doubt. Please, step up
to the monitor and tell me what this says. Well, Ms. Johnson called me
on the day Jeremiah was born. And she told me I could
come up there and I can
get my DNA test done, you know, whatever
I needed to do. I said, “Okay, I will come
up there when I get off
of work.” Well, maybe
an hour or so later, she decides to text me
and call me back saying that the DNA test
people were not
in the building. So I said, “Okay.” She said, “You should
come tomorrow, on a Saturday.” This was a Friday
when he was born. So I called myself while
I was still at work. The DNA test people
were in the building,
on that Friday. They would not be there
on that Saturday. JUDGE LAKE: And so… So after she gets out
of the hospital,
she says, uh, “You can get a DNA
test done, “but I don’t have
$200 to $400 to pay for it.” I said, “I will pay for it.” So, when I finally
get to one, when I found a clinic
that will take the test
for her for about $200, I never heard back from her. AUDIENCE: Oh. So you actually found a place that could do the DNA test
and were… You were prepared
with the money to
take the test. Yeah, ’cause I was
ready to… And then she went, as we
learned in this courtroom,
is called “going ghost”. KESTON: Ghost. Ghost. I didn’t hear
from her for a while. All right, thank you
for that evidence. I wanna come to you,
Ms. Johnson. Is what Mr. Rice
asserted here
in this monitor true? The first part is true. Um, I did call him
when I gave birth and I told him that, um, the DNA test people
weren’t there because that’s what
the nurse told me. I kept asking her, you know, “Are they here? Are they here?” She said, “No, they’re
only here on the weekend.” So I told him
to come Saturday. Right. And when I texted
him Saturday, he told me that something
was going on with a family
member, so I just left it alone. And yes, after the fact
when I left the hospital, he said that he wanted
a DNA test and that he would pay for it, but he never contacted me after he said that
he would pay for it. He… We had not spoken, we barely speak
to each other. And if we do talk,
it has nothing to do
with the baby. So now, Jeremiah’s
six months old. BRIANNA: Yes, Your Honor. And he has your last name. Yes. But what’s interesting
is I did notice when I looked at
the birth certificate, baby Jeremiah
has a middle name,“Semaj”…BRIANNA:Yes, ma’am.
Yes, Your Honor.
JUDGE LAKE:Which is “James”
spelled backwards.
BRIANNA: Yes, Your Honor. And that’s Mr. Williams. Yes, Your Honor.
I felt like since
he was there from day one, that he should get some
kind of credit for, you know, being there and
taking care of him. I didn’t feel like
that was a problem. We ain’t in school,
this ain’t an extra credit. BRIANNA:
You’re right, you’re right. We not… We not dealing
with the extra credit
for, uh… This is a very
real situation and I’m gonna be honest. I mean, this is
a beautiful photo. And it’s beautiful that you
appreciated what Mr. Williams
was doing, but I mean, of course,
this child will grow up
and wonder, he will definitely wonder, “Mama, where in the world
did you get ‘Semaj’ from?” KESTON: But, Your Honor,
this is what… This is what she texts me
and tells me on Facebook,
you know. A few, about a few weeks ago,
she texts me and asked me to go buy diapers, Pampers,
and something from the store and bring it to her
and she will give me
the money for it. Okay. So did you do it? No. ‘Cause I’m not
gonna do it. I’ve been trying to… I’ve just canceled all
communications with her for… For one reason. I don’t know if
it’s my baby, so I’m not gonna take
care of something that’s
not my job. JUDGE LAKE: But, but,
okay, but… You have to also consider, because there was a question
of the conception dates, and you do say that you were
sleeping with her without
using protection. What if Jeremiah is your child? If Jeremiah is my child, at the end of the day,
I’m gonna take care of my son. And you understand that
you’ve missed his birth, you’ve missed the first
six months of his life, the bonding of that, because of the doubt. You’re willing to accept
the fact that you’ve missed
that part of his life? I can’t do nothing
but accept it. But if he is my son,
all I have to do is
make up for it. If he’s my son,
I gotta take care
of my responsibilities. I live on my own
and I work two jobs. If he’s my son, I’m not
gonna leave him out there
like my daddy left me. JUDGE LAKE: Amen to that. So you’ve never laid
eyes on this child? No, ma’am. You’ve never even had
an opportunity? You’ve never even said,
“Hey, you wanna see Jeremiah?” She texted me and told me
I can see Jeremiah. I’ve done it but
he doesn’t want to because he doesn’t,
he’s not… Like he said,
he’s not sure, so he has never came. All right, you know what? It’s time to get down
to the bottom of this. Jerome, I’m ready
for the results. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) There you are. These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics, and they read as follows. so I’m not gonna
take care of something
that’s not my job. JUDGE LAKE: In the case
ofJohnson v. Rice,pertaining to whether
Mr. Williams or Mr. Rice is the father of six-month-old
Jeremiah Johnson, it has been determined
by this court… The biological father is… Mr. Rice. JUDGE LAKE:
You are the father. How does it feel
to know for certain? I feel better to know that he’s mine. I know I can
move on now and know I got
a responsibility
to take care of. Mmm-hmm. He needs that. And I know from
your experience, as you’ve been so honest
in this courtroom about growing up
without your father, and saying in your mind,
being determined about if
you ever have a child, you’re gonna be there for him. He needs you there. So, now, we have to break
this cycle, Mr. Rice. KESTON: Yes, Your Honor. Right? Yes, ma’am. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Ms. Johnson,
I have to ask you, for baby Jeremiah’s sake. Would it be okay if Mr. Rice saw his son
in my chambers for the
first time? I mean, I’ve never
had a problem with it ’cause I’ve known
from the beginning. Would you like
to see your son? I would. JUDGE LAKE: Good. I will meet you
in my chambers. Court is adjourned.

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