By Chuck Johnston | CNN
A Columbus man has been charged with raping a 10-year-old Ohio girl who then had to travel to Indiana seeking an abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to court proceedings CNN obtained through affiliate WBNS.
Gerson Fuentes, 27, was arrested Tuesday, according to Columbus police and court documents. He has been charged with felony rape of a minor under age 13, according to the Franklin County Municipal Court. His first court appearance was Wednesday.
Fuentes is being held on $2 million bond, according to the court. CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.
Fuentes admitted to authorities he raped the young girl on at least two occasions, Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified Wednesday at Fuentes’ arraignment.
Police first were alerted to the child’s pregnancy in late June through a referral by a local children services department that was made by the 10-year-old’s mother, Huhn testified.
The girl underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30, the detective testified. DNA from the Indianapolis clinic was being tested against samples from Fuentes and the child’s siblings, Huhn said.
Fuentes’ next court appearance is July 22, court documents show.
In a statement Wednesday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said, “My heart aches for the pain suffered by this young child.”
“I am grateful for the diligent work of the Columbus Police Department in securing a confession and getting a rapist off the street,” Yost said. “Justice must be served and (the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation) stands ready to support law enforcement across Ohio putting these criminals behind bars.”
After Roe v. Wade was overturned, an Ohio law banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy went into effect.
Indianapolis-based OBGYN Dr. Cailin Bernard told CNN earlier this month that after being contacted by a child abuse doctor in neighboring Ohio, she recently helped a 10-year-old girl have an abortion in Indiana. The young girl was six weeks and three days into the pregnancy, Bernard told CNN.
The doctor said she saw an immediate influx of patients seeking abortions in Indiana, particularly from bordering states Kentucky and Ohio, which passed laws severely limiting abortion care following the Supreme Court decision.
The Columbus Dispatch newspaper was first to report on the case and arrest. The Columbus Police Department would not immediately provide additional details on the arrest.
“Out of compassion for victims we will not comment on any rapes of juveniles,” Columbus police spokesperson Sgt. Joe Albert told CNN.
CNN has reached out to the Ohio attorney general, Franklin County Child Services and an Indiana-based abortion provider for additional details.
In the days before details emerged of Fuentes’ arrest, some conservative media outlets and Republican officials had expressed doubt about the case or whether the girl existed.
Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, tweeted, “Another lie. Anyone surprised?” The tweet has since been deleted.
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