The illegal immigrant accused of impregnating a 10-year-old Ohio girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion was indicted on two counts of rape Thursday by a grand jury in Franklin County, Ohio.
Police apprehended 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes on July 12 after he allegedly confessed to sexually assaulting the young girl on at least two occasions when she was just nine. The girl became pregnant and was taken out of state to Indiana for a medical abortion on June 30, reportedly because she could not obtain one in Ohio under the state's fetal heartbeat law, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Ohio's heartbeat law prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, around the time when an unborn baby's heartbeat is first detected. The law does not contain exceptions for rape or incest, only for medical emergencies in which the life of the mother is endangered.
The child rape victim's story went viral after pro-choice activists and Democrats, including President Joe Biden, weaponized it to campaign against state abortion restrictions enacted after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Many conservatives initially expressed skepticism over the veracity of the story, which was first reported by the Indianapolis Star on July 1. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was among those who had questioned the story, claiming that his office had not heard a "whisper" of anything like that happening in Ohio.
However, the Columbus Dispatch confirmed the story with reports on Fuentes' arrest and subsequent indictment.
Fuentes is being held in Franklin County jail on $2 million bond. He is a citizen of Guatemala who is living in the United States illegally.
Police have obtained DNA evidence from Fuentes through a search warrant and are comparing it to material collected from the Indianapolis clinic where the girl obtained an abortion, the Dispatch reported.
At a hearing on July 13, Columbus Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified that Fuentes confessed to sexually assaulting the girl on at least two occasions between January and May 12. The two charges of rape are related to those incidents.
Townhall reported that Fuentes was engaged in a romantic relationship with the girl's mother, who is reportedly also pregnant with his child.
A reporter from Telemundo went to the house where law enforcement had arrested Fuentes and briefly spoke to the girl's mother, who claimed the accusations against Fuentes were a "lie."
The maximum sentence for rape of a child under age 13 in Ohio is life in prison without the possibility of parole for 15 years.
Fuentes will appear in court Monday afternoon for arraignment on the indictment and is expected to plead not guilty to the rape charges.