Ohio man accused of raping 10-year-old girl who then crossed state lines to get an abortion

July 13 (Reuters) – An Ohio man has been charged with raping a 10-year-old girl who later traveled to neighboring Indiana for an abortion, a case President Joe Biden has highlighted in criticism a decision of the United States Supreme Court eliminating a national right to Abortion.

Gerson Fuentes, 27, who was arrested on Tuesday, appeared in municipal court in Franklin County, Ohio, on Wednesday for arraignment. A police investigator testified in court that Fuentes confessed to raping the girl at least twice.

The victim in the case had an abortion in neighboring Indiana on June 30, the officer said.

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A statewide ban on abortion in Ohio after the sixth week of pregnancy – before many women know they’re pregnant – went into effect just hours after the court’s ruling. June 24 Supreme Court which overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

The incident drew attention this month when the Indianapolis Star newspaper reported that she had to travel to Indiana to get an abortion because she was three days over the six-week limit for the pregnancy. ‘Ohio, which does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

Abortions after six weeks remain legal in Indiana, though the Republican-controlled state legislature is expected to consider further restrictions later this month.

Biden, a Democrat, spoke about the girl in remarks to reporters on abortion access.

“Just imagine being that little 10-year-old girl,” he said angrily at the White House on Friday.

Fuentes is being held on $2 million bail and is due in a preliminary hearing on July 22.

A court-appointed defense attorney for Fuentes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A total of 26 US states have either severely restricted abortions as a result of the ruling or are expected to do so in the coming weeks and months.

Some conservatives had questioned the veracity of the Indianapolis Star story.

Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told the USA TODAY Network Ohio office on Tuesday that the details were “more likely than not” because there had been no arrests and no evidence uncovered, the report reported. Columbus Dispatch of Ohio.

But in a statement Wednesday after the arrest, Yost, who defended the state’s six-week ban in state court after the Supreme Court ruling, said, “My heart aches for the pain suffered by this young child. I am grateful for the diligent work of the Columbus Police Department in obtaining a confession and getting a rapist off the streets.”

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Reporting by Joseph Axe; Editing by Donna Bryson and Howard Goller

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