NRL News

Woman files $20 million lawsuit, charges that counselor fathered her child and then attempted to abort the baby “with his bare hands”

by | Jan 13, 2015


By Dave Andrusko

Johanna Bernal

Johanna Bernal

Johanna Bernal came to the United States from Colombia at age 9. By 2003, drug-addicted and schizophrenic, she became increasingly depressed “after sustained beatings from a boyfriend, with whom she had three children,” according to the New York Post’s Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein.

But when she went to the city for help, she charges in a lawsuit, “her appointed drug counselor used her for sex and impregnated her, then subjected her to a brutal attempted abortion with his bare hands.”

According to court papers, Vincent and Klein report, “counselor George Alejandro allegedly kept Bernal ‘in a drugged state’ while sleeping with her, and threatened her family members if they dared complain.”

Speaking in Spanish, Bernal, now 35, told the Post “My family has suffered a lot at the hands of this man. I live in fear.”

According to the Post, in 2003 Bernal’s mother, Alicia Alvarez, reached out to the city Administration for Children’s Services. Alvarez was referred to a taxpayer-funded agency called Vida Family Services, where Alejandro worked.

“But he had some unorthodox treatment methods,” Vincent and Klein reported. “ Alejandro took Bernal to a hotel on Aug. 14, 2003, the night of the Northeast blackout, to have sex, court papers say.”

Ms. Alvarez unsuccessfully tried to monitor Alejandro’s contact with her daughter. Bernal was eight months pregnant when Alejandro invited her to a Queens hotel room in 2004.

The family says the counselor pounced on her, using “four fingers to [attempt to] abort the baby. He wanted to rip the baby out,” Alvarez told The Post.

When Bernal began to hemorrhage, he took her to a hospital where doctors stopped the bleeding, according to court papers. A sobbing Bernal called her mother from the hospital.

“Mama, he wanted to take the baby out of me,” she cried.

A furious Alvarez threatened to go to the police and to ACS but was stopped by ­Alejandro’s threats.

“He said he would kill us.” Alvarez said

Fortunately, the baby survived the abortion attempt and in May 2004, Jennifer was born. The $20 million lawsuit, filed in November in Manhattan federal court against the city and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), maintains that Family Court determined Alejandro to be the baby’s father.

Alejandro denied both that he had a sexual relationship with Bernal and that he is the father of Jennifer. The story ends with this:

Alejandro gained a state certificate as a certified addiction and substance-abuse counselor in 2005 — two years after he first began treating Bernal, records show. The state agency that issued the credentials said it was aware of his criminal background [an attempted-manslaughter conviction].

ACS says it is “reviewing this matter.”

Categories: Crime