Ohio rapist Fuentes charged with impregnating 10 year-old girl

Gerson Fuentes

Gerson Fuentes

An Ohio man Gerson Fuentes, 27, has been charged with raping a 10-year-old girl who later traveled to neighbouring Indiana for an abortion.

It was a case that President Joe Biden highlighted in criticising a U.S. Supreme Court decision eliminating a nationwide right to abortion.

Fuentes, who was arrested on Tuesday, appeared in Franklin County, Ohio, municipal court for an arraignment on Wednesday. A police investigator testified at the hearing that Fuentes confessed to raping the girl at least twice.

The victim in the case underwent an abortion in neighbouring Indiana on June 30, the officer testified.

A statewide ban on abortions in Ohio after the sixth week of pregnancy – before many women are aware they are pregnant – went into effect just hours after the Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had established a constitutional right to abortion.

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The incident gained attention this month when the Indianapolis Star newspaper reported she had to travel to Indiana to secure an abortion because she was three days past Ohio’s six-week limit, which does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

Abortions after six weeks remain legal in Indiana, though the Republican-controlled state legislature is expected to consider new restrictions later this month.

Biden, a Democrat, spoke of the girl in remarks to reporters about abortion access.

“Just imagine being that little girl – 10 years old,” he said angrily at the White House on Friday.

Fuentes is being held on $2 million bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 22.

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