Texas Beauty Queen Forced to Return Crown
Miss Corpus Christi Latina had checkered past
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2016 1:29 AM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2016 6:21 AM CDT
"I am more than a crown, I AM a positive role model," says Cifuentes.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – From scandal to lawsuits to a dethroning, it's safe to say that the inaugural year of the Corpus Christi Latina beauty pageant was not an unqualified success. Acirema Alayeto, Miss America Latina's national director, says Caitlin Cifuentes has had her crown revoked and has been replaced by runner-up Valeria Barrera, Action 10 reports. Barrera was one of six runners-up from the June 11 pageant who sued the pageant's local director, saying the 25-year-old Cifuentes should not have been allowed to compete because of issues such as her deferred adjudicated probation on a 2013 charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She is also on probation for a misdemeanor DUI stemming from the same incident in 2013, a car crash that injured four.

Cifuentes and local pageant director Kayla Alvarez had argued that Cifuentes technically had no convictions and no pending charges, which made her eligible to compete, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports. Alayeto countered that Cifuentes has to complete the probation to avoid a conviction, so the assault charge—which she pleaded guilty to—should be considered pending. Cifuentes will no longer be eligible for the national pageant, reports the Houston Chronicle, which notes that the organization's motto is "more than a model ... a role model." In a Facebook post, Cifuentes thanked supporters and described herself as a positive role model. "Everyone makes mistakes but what you do after is what counts," she wrote.