|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
March 24, 2010
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
38-YEAR-OLD WOMAN CHARGED WITH HAVING UNLAWFUL SEX WITH 15-YEAR-OLD NEIGHBOR AND BECOMING PREGNANT WITH HIS CHILD
SANTA ANA – A 38-year-old woman has been charged with having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15-year-old neighbor, ultimately becoming impregnated by the teen. Debra Ayala Tapia, Santa Ana, was charged today with two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, two felony counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16, and two felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. If convicted on all counts, she faces a maximum sentence of seven years and eight months in state prison. The defendant is out of custody on $100,000 bail. Her arraignment date is to be determined.
At the time of the crime, Tapia was a married mother with three minor children. She lived near the victim and was friends with his family. In early 2009, the defendant is accused of grooming 15-year-old John Doe by talking with him on the phone and inviting him to her house late at night. Between February and November 2009, Tapia is accused of having an unlawful sexual relationship with John Doe approximately two times a week at her home including oral copulation and intercourse. Tapia is accused of becoming pregnant during this time. On Nov. 21, 2009, she is accused of giving birth to a child.
John Doe’s mother became suspicious of the relationship between her son and Tapia after discovering suggestive notes between the two. She confronted her son, who told her about the unlawful sexual relationship, and sought a paternity test. In February 2010, it was determined based on the paternity test that John Doe was the father of Tapia’s new baby.
On March 14, 2010, John Doe’s mother reported the unlawful sexual relationship to the Santa Ana Police Department, who investigated the case and arrested Tapia on March 23, 2010.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.