A man was charged with impregnating a 10-year-old Ohio girl whose travel to Indiana to seek an abortion got international attention and became a flashpoint in the furor over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, USA Today reports. Nearly all abortions after the detection of fetal cardiac activity became illegal in Ohio last month after the court ruling. The story of a young girl traveling across state lines to receive an abortion – first reported by the Indianapolis Star,– quickly went viral. The account became a talking point for abortion rights supporters, including President Biden, and some opponents and news outlets criticized the story as unproved. The criminal charges and testimony Wednesday confirm the disturbing story. Gerson Fuentes, 27, was arrested Tuesday after police said he confessed to raping the child on at least two occasions. He's charged with rape and is held in the Franklin County jail on a $2 million bond.
The child's mother reported the girl's pregnancy to Franklin County Children Services, which informed Columbus police, Detective Jeffrey Huhn said at Fuentes' arraignment. The girl underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30. The girl told police Fuentes was responsible for her pregnancy. Prosecutor Daniel Meyer said she had recently turned 10, meaning she was probably impregnated at 9 years old. Huhn said DNA from the clinic in Indianapolis is being tested against samples from Fuentes. The Supreme Court ruling has triggered a cascade of state-level prohibitions, including in Ohio, where a "heartbeat" bill became law hours after the opinion was released.