A grand jury in Ohio on Thursday indicted an undocumented immigrant on two counts of rape for allegedly sexually assaulting and impregnating a young girl, who was then forced to cross state lines to seek an abortion in Indiana, where the procedure is still legal.
The indictment revealed that the alleged rape victim was just 9 years old when she was assaulted — contrary to previous reports saying she was 10 at the time she had her pregnancy terminated.
The girl’s case became a lightning rod in the national debate over abortion rights, with President Biden publicly invoking the child’s plight to highlight the detrimental effects of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Pro-life activists and some politicians raised doubts about the 10-year-old’s tale of rape, unwanted pregnancy and out-of-state abortion — first reported by the Indianapolis Star — until Gerson Fuentes was arrested on July 12 and made his initial court appearance the next day.
Fuentes, a native of Guatemala living in the US illegally, is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges next Monday.
A police investigator testified at his previous arraignment last week that Fuentes had confessed to raping the girl at least twice, and that the girl had an abortion in Indiana on June 30.
Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat law” bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
The Ohio rape victim was three days past the six-week mark when she traveled to neighboring Indiana to terminate her pregnancy.
The indictment charges Fuentes with two counts of rape, according to a redacted copy of the document filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. It says the victim was 9 years old on both occasions but offers no details of the alleged encounters or of how Fuentes and the girl may have known one another.
An electronic court docket shows Fuentes has yet to enter a plea.
Meanwhile, during a brief exchange with a reporter from Telemundo, the Ohio girl’s mother defended Fuentes, despite his purported confession.
“Everything that they’re saying against him is a lie,” the woman said of her daughter’s accused rapist.
With Post wires