28-Year-Old Louisiana Woman Posed as a Teen to Enroll in High School, Police Say

Wire Service
By Wire Service
June 15, 2023US News
28-Year-Old Louisiana Woman Posed as a Teen to Enroll in High School, Police Say
Hahnville High School in St. Charles Parish, La. (Courtesy of WDSU)

A 28-year-old woman in Louisiana posed as a teenager and enrolled in high school because she wanted to learn English, officials said.

Martha Jessenia Gutierrez-Serrano, 28, enrolled in Hahnville High School in June 2022 and attended the entire 2022–2023 school year, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

School officials notified the sheriff’s office in May they had received a tip that a student on record as being 17 was in fact an adult in her mid-20s, the release said.

Detectives determined Gutierrez-Serrano and her mother, 46-year-old Marta Elizeth Serrano-Alvarado, used a fraudulent passport and birth certificate to enroll Gutierrez-Serrano in school, the sheriff’s office said.

Both were arrested this week and charged with one count each of injuring public records, the release said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they have an attorney.

Gutierrez-Serrano told investigators she enrolled in school to learn the English language, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said during a news conference Wednesday.

“The young woman wanted to become proficient in English and perhaps further her education, which I think we can all be sympathetic with,” Champagne said. “She was in school, she minded her own business, she did her schoolwork. She caused no trouble, she was not a disciplinary problem.”

St. Charles Parish Public Schools is now reviewing enrollment procedures and conducting an audit of enrollment documents of all current students, Superintendent Ken Oterling said at the news conference.

The school system will also provide additional required training for all school and district-level employees focused on recognizing potentially fraudulent documents, Oterling said.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.