Man indicted in rape of Ohio girl, 10, who traveled to Indiana for abortion

Man indicted in rape of Ohio girl, 10, who traveled to Indiana for abortion
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The man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion was indicted by a grand jury in Ohio Thursday, in a case that became a flashpoint in the debate about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Gerson Fuentes, 27, was charged with two felony counts of rape in the indictment filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in Columbus.

Court records did not appear to list an attorney for Fuentes after the indictment. His arraignment was scheduled for Monday.

The case quickly gained international attention — and scrutiny — after Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis physician who provides abortion services, told The Indianapolis Star that the 10-year-old had to travel to Indiana for an abortion.

She said the girl had to travel from Ohio to Indiana after Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” law was enacted hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe last month. The law bans abortions at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat.”


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Abortions in Ohio are now outlawed at around six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for cases involving rape or incest.

Fuentes was arrested on July 12, and he confessed to raping the child, according to separate documents filed in Franklin County municipal court. He was charged with the rape of a minor and was facing a life sentence, as well as deportation, the documents said.

Before his arrest, many, including right-leaning news outlets and politicians, had questioned Bernard’s account about treating the girl.

Bernard recently filed a defamation lawsuit against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita after he told local and national media outlets that he was investigating the doctor after she performed the procedure on the young patient.

Bernard filed a tort claim after Rokita said he was “gathering the evidence” against her, including “looking at her licensure” and whether “she failed to report” the procedure in Indiana because “it’s a crime to not report, to intentionally not report.”

In a previous statement, Bernard’s employer, Indiana University Health, said it had “conducted an investigation with the full cooperation of Dr. Bernard and other IU Health team members” and “found Dr. Bernard in compliance with privacy laws.”

NBC News obtained a Terminated Pregnancy Report from the Indiana Department of Health showing Bernard did report the procedure within the required timeframe. A Washington Post review of state records also found no issues with Bernard’s medical license.

The Associated Press contributed.

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