Kelly Holleran Jul. 30, 2013, 7:37am

After thousands of dollars spent on child support payments, a man who believed for years he was the father of a child discovered that he was not the biological parent, according to recently filed court documents.

Lekardo Pitts filed a lawsuit July 10 in St. Clair County against Edwardstine Reese.

In his complaint, Pitts claims Reese led him and judges in St. Clair County Circuit Court into believing that he was the father of her child. In turn, the court ordered Pitts to pay thousands of dollars in child support and other benefits toward the child, according to the complaint.

Believing he was the father, Pitts waived his right to undergo basic DNA testing or blood testing to confirm the validity of Reese’s claim that he was the father, the suit states.

Recently, however, Reese became interested in securing paternity tests so that her new husband could adopt her child, the suit states. The tests revealed the Pitts is not the child’s father, the complaint says.

“Reese fraudulently induced Mr. Pitts to sign documents and waive his right to a DNA test, with the intent to defraud Mr. Pitts, stealing money from him, and to defraud the court system,” the suit states. “He (Pitts) has paid well thousands of dollars in child support and benefits to Reese, monies he never truly owed, since 2003.”

In his complaint, Pitts seeks compensatory damages of more than $30,000 and punitive damages of more than $100,000, plus attorney’s fees and costs.

Eric M. Rhein of Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-355.

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