An Ohio judge this week ordered held without bond the man charged with raping and impregnating a 10-year-old Ohio girl, who then had to travel across state lines for an abortion because the state’s anti-abortion law has no exception for rape.
Gerson Fuentes was initially arrested on July 12 and ordered held on a $2 million bond, as CrimeOnline previously reported. But following his indictment by a Franklin County grand jury this week, he returned to court for another bond hearing, where Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Lynch agreed with prosecutors who argued for no bond.
“This man lives in the home with this child. To allow him to return him to that home, the traumatic and psychological impact would be undeserving to the alleged victim,” Lynch said, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Columbus Police Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified before Lynch, providing a detailed timeline of the case from June 22, when Franklin County Children Services received a referral about the child being pregnant and reported to police as required by law. Huhn also said that a DNA analysis showed with a “99.99% probability” that he was the father of the child’s child.
Huhn told the court that at a forensic interview on June 23, the girl did not acknowledge that she was assaulted or identify a perpetrator. The mother then sought a consultation for an abortion, but because Ohio’s draconian abortion law went into affect on June 24, it was too late. The girl traveled to Indiana on June 29. She had to wait 18 hours there for the abortion, which was done by medication the following day.
The girl was interviewed a second time on July 6, Huhn said. Fuentes, who had been living at the home, was present. The girl acknowledged nonverbally that she was assaulted and that Fuentes assaulted her, he said. Fuentes provided a DNA sample at the time.
On July 12, Fuentes, a Guatemalan native, was interviewed with an interpreter and allegedly admitted raping the girl on at least two occasions — in January and May. He also submitted a second DNA sample for a search warrant.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said that Fuentes is currently on a detainer as he is in the country illegally.
When news of the 10-year-old’s abortion surfaced, Ohio Republicans — including Attorney General Dave Yost and U.S. Representative Jim Jordon — publicly dismissed the story as a hoax. Indiana’s Republican Attorney General, Todd Rokita, launched an investigation into Caitlin Bernard, the doctor who conducted the abortion. Bernard’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, said that Rokita is investigating whether Bernard reported the abortion to the state Department of Health as required by law (she did, two days after the procedure) and whether she violated patient privacy laws.
Bernard did tell the Indianpolis Star about an abortion on a 10-year-old girl who had come from Ohio because laws in that state barred her from having one. She did not provide names or any other identifying details.
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[Featured image: Gerson Fuentes/handout]