COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — A Columbus man is charged with raping a 10-year-old girl who had to travel to Indiana for an abortion.
Gerson Fuentes, 27, was arrested and charged after a Columbus Police investigation sparked by reporting from Franklin County Children Services.
Social workers took a call from the 10-year-old’s mother, who said her daughter was pregnant.
The girl went to Indianapolis for a consultation on June 29 and had the abortion the following day.
The aborted fetus was then entered into evidence, police say.
MORE | Biden signs order on abortion access after Supreme Court's ruling
It was less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Court documents show, on July 6, the victim identified Fuentes as her attacker.
He was served a search warrant for a saliva swab on July 12. After detectives obtained the swab, Fuentes was taken in for an interview, where police say he confessed to raping the young girl.
The detective in court said he could not confirm if Fuentes was in the country legally, adding police aren't even certain of his legal name due to a lack of official documentation.
The defense attorney questioned the detective about confirming Fuentes’ DNA matched the fetus. That detective says testing is in progress.
Bond is set at $2 million despite pleas from prosecutors to deny it. Fuentes appeared via video conferencing, where a translator relayed the court proceedings to him.
The story shocked many, including President Joe Biden.
“She was forced to have to travel out of the state to Indiana to seek to terminate the pregnancy and maybe save her life,” Biden said on July 8 after the story first broke. “Ten years old — 10 years old — raped, six weeks pregnant, already traumatized, was forced to travel to another state.”
Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement:
"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.”
Earlier in the week, Yost appeared on Fox News and seemed to question the validity of the story. At that point, the only source for the story was an Indianapolis doctor. Yost indicated that investigators had “not a whisper” of evidence that the story was true.
Today WSYX asked Yost if he would apologize to the girl and her family.
“Tell me what you think I got wrong and I’ll consider whether I should apologize,” he said. “I’m not aware of anything I was wrong about, I stand by everything I said.”