A man in Ohio has been arrested for allegedly raping and impregnating a 10-year-old girl who was forced to travel to Indiana to get an abortion after Ohio’s restrictive abortion law went into effect following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the suspect was identified as 27-year-old Gershon Fuentes, who was arrested Tuesday, July 12, after police officers said he confessed to raping the 10-year-old. Fuentes, who Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Dan Meyer said is believed to be undocumented, is currently being held in Franklin County jail on a $2 million bond. Reporter Bethany Bruner was present in the courtroom during Fuentes’ arraignment.
I was the ONLY reporter in the courtroom this morning as the man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl, impregnating her, leading to an abortion in Indiana, was arraigned.
This confirms that the case exists.https://t.co/eWvtBMxqZW
— Bethany Bruner (@bethany_bruner) July 13, 2022
A lawyer for Fuentes did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
The 10-year-old’s story first broke days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. The original story was sourced to an OB-GYN in Indiana, Dr. Citlin Bernard, who said she had been contacted by a doctor in Ohio who treats child abuse victims and was seeking help for the girl, who was about six weeks pregnant at the time.
As the story spread, however, many conservative commentators, news outlets, and even politicians cast doubt on the harrowing tale, especially after President Joe Biden mentioned it last Friday, July 8, while signing an executive order on abortion. Megan Fox, a journalist for the right-leaning PJ Media, shared a Twitter thread claiming there was no proof the girl existed; the Wall Street Journal editorial board then used Fox’s claims to back up its own piece published Tuesday — the same day Fuentes was arrested — titled, “An Abortion Story Too Good to Confirm.” South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem also labeled the story “fake news” on Twitter after being pressed on it — and South Dakota’s own restrictive abortion laws — during a CNN interview.
Even Ohio’s own Republican Attorney General, Dave Yost, downplayed the story in a Fox News interview Monday, July 11. Yost said his office had heard “not a whisper” about the case and insisted, “I know our prosecutors and cops in this state. There’s not one of them that wouldn’t be turning over every rock in their jurisdiction if they had the slightest hint that this occurred there… I’m not saying it could not have happened. What I’m saying to you is there is not a damn scintilla of evidence. And shame on the Indianapolis paper that ran this thing on a single source who has an obvious axe to grind.”
But as it turns out, authorities in Columbus first heard about the case all the way back on June 22, detective Jeffrey Huhn testified at Fuentes’ arraignment. The case was referred to the cops through Franklin County Children Services after they were contacted by the 10-year-old’s mother. The abortion was performed in Indiana on June 30, six days after Roe was overturned.
Following Fuentes’ arrest, Yost issued the statement: “We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets.”