Last month, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office was alerted when Hahnville High School began investigating a potential case of fraud involving a woman in her mid-20s posing as a 17-year-old teenager.
Following the investigation, Martha Jessenia Gutierrez-Serrano, 28, and her mother, 46-year-old Marta Elizeth Serrano-Alvarado, were arrested after authorities determined that Serrano-Alvarado had enrolled her adult daughter in the school with a fraudulent passport and birth certificate from Honduras.
According to the police statement, Gutierrez-Serrano had attended Hahnville High School for the entirety of the 2022-2023 school year, and there was no evidence of her being involved in any extracurricular activities or disciplinary issues.
At a news conference on Wednesday, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne shared that Gutierrez-Serrano had enrolled in the school to learn English and there was no malicious intent behind her actions. Serrano-Alvarado was living in the U.S. on an expired visa, while Gutierrez-Serrano had entered the U.S. through New Mexico in 2021 and was released by immigration authorities after processing. Champagne commented that in the photo taken by immigration, Gutierrez-Serrano could easily be mistaken for a teenager.
Both women were charged with one count of injuring public records, and were released on bond.