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Arrest Made in Rape of Ohio 10-Year-Old Who Had to Travel Out of State for Abortion

The Daily Beast 7/13/2022 Josh Fiallo
Franklin County Sheriff © Provided by The Daily Beast Franklin County Sheriff

An Ohio man was arrested Tuesday for raping a 10-year-old girl who became a central figure in the debate over abortion rights after she reportedly traveled to Indiana to have an abortion when Ohio outlawed the procedure last month.

Arrest records and court records viewed by The Daily Beast confirm that Gerson Fuentes, 27, was arrested Tuesday in Franklin County on a felony charge of raping a person under 13. The Columbus Dispatch, who first reported on his arrest, attended Fuentes’ arraignment in Columbus on Wednesday.

The unidentified girl became national news when a doctor’s allegation that she traveled from her home in Columbus to Indianapolis for an abortion began to spread in the wake of the the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Her home state had a trigger law that immediately made abortions in the state illegal, while abortions remain legal in Indiana.

Columbus police detectives testified in court Wednesday that the abortion did take place out of state, the Dispatch reported. Court records show Fuentes is being held on a bond of $2 million. The Dispatch reported that a judge said the 27-year-old is considered a flight risk and, given the brutality of the crime, a high bail was necessary to protect the child involved.

Citing detectives, the newspaper reported that police were first made aware of the girl’s pregnancy through a referral filed with the local child services’ branch by her mother on June 22. Eight days later, the girl reportedly received a medical abortion in Indianapolis. Court records say the rape occurred on May 12.

Fuentes’ arrest comes as conservative media claimed the girl’s story was made up for political theater, something parroted by Fox News presenters as recently as Tuesday night—while Fuentes was already in custody.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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