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Columbus man charged in rape of 10-year-old girl who traveled to Indiana for abortion

Gerson Fuentes, 27, has been charged with one count of rape. He was given a $2 million bond.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus man has been charged with impregnating a 10-year-old girl whose story of traveling to Indiana for an abortion that garnered international attention.

According to court records obtained by 10TV, 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes has been charged with one count of rape involving a 10-year-old victim.

Court records state a report was generated on June 22 with the Columbus Division of Police for rape. On July 6, the victim identified Fuentes to authorities as the person who raped her.

Six days later, detectives served Fuentes with a search warrant for a saliva sample. He was taken to police headquarters for an interview where he confessed to raping the victim, according to documents.

Fuentes appeared in court Wednesday and was given a $2 million bond. He is currently in the Franklin County Jail.

During Fuentes’ arraignment, Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified the investigation began after police received a report from Franklin County Children Services from a parent who said her daughter was pregnant.

Huhn said Fuentes admitted to raping the victim on at least two occasions during their interview.

When asked if Fuentes was in the country legally, Huhn said not to his knowledge. He added there has been some confusion as to Fuentes’ real name because authorities have no legal documents. A source connected to the investigation told 10TV that Fuentes is not in the country lawfully.

Huhn said that the victim underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30.

The victim’s story of traveling out of state for the abortion made headlines around the world following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

After the court decision, Ohio activated the state's Heartbeat Law, which bans most abortions around six weeks or when the first fetal heartbeat is detected.

After the victim's story appeared in The Indianapolis Star, many questioned its legitimacy including Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

During an appearance on Fox News, Yost said the story was being used as a political weapon and the victim could have had an abortion in Ohio.

In response to Yost's comments, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters said there is no exception for rape or incest under the new law.

In a statement sent to 10TV on Wednesday, Yost said the following:

“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.

Justice must be served and BCI stands ready to support law enforcement across Ohio putting these criminals behind bars.”

Yost does not believe he casted doubt too early when the investigation was not yet complete. Regarding his comments on how the girl could have had an abortion in Ohio, Yost said there could have been an exemption in the law.

"Well, it may have been able to be there is an exception in law, both for the life of the mother and for a medical and emergency, which are our defined terms. So that's question of fact, ultimately, and without knowing the identity, or the medical history, or the condition of the victim, the survivor of this horrible crime, you can't really say for sure," Yost said.

A spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine said his office had no new comments regarding the story.

"As we previously stated, Governor DeWine views this crime as a horrific tragedy, and he has said that if the evidence supports, the rapist should spend the rest of his life in prison," spokesperson Dan Tierney said in an email.

10TV spoke with Sarah Inskeep with Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity.  

She said the organization focuses on young people who may face challenges getting the help they need, including health care. 

"It's absolutely horrific and no individual whether they're 28 or 10 years old should have to cross state lines in order to get the health care that they need,” Inskeep said.

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