An Ohio man named Gerson Fuentes, 27, is accused of raping a 10-year-old girl who then went to the neighbouring state of Indiana for an abortion.
President Joe Biden brought up this case in his criticism of a Supreme Court ruling that ended abortion rights nationwide.
Fuentes, who was detained on Tuesday, made an appearance in Franklin County Municipal Court in Ohio on Wednesday for an arraignment. At the hearing, a police investigator testified that Fuentes admitted to raping the girl at least twice.
According to the officer’s testimony, the victim in this case had an abortion on June 30 in nearby Indiana.
A statewide ban on abortions in Ohio after the sixth week of pregnancy – before many women are aware they are pregnant – went into effect just hours after the Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had established a constitutional right to abortion.
The incident gained attention this month when the Indianapolis Star newspaper reported she had to travel to Indiana to secure an abortion because she was three days past Ohio’s six-week limit, 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 new restrictions later this month.
Biden, a Democrat, spoke of the girl in remarks to reporters about abortion access.
“Just imagine being that little girl – 10 years old,” he said angrily at the White House on Friday.
Fuentes is being held on $2 million bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 22.