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Columbus man charged with rape of girl, 10, who traveled to Indiana for abortion

Gerson Fuentes
Franklin County Sherrif's Department
Gerson Fuentes

A man has been charged in Ohio with the rape of a 10-year-old girl whose case drew national attention when a doctor said the child had to travel to Indiana for an abortion because of new restrictions in her home state.

27-year-old Gerson Fuentes, of Columbus' northwest side, was arraigned Wednesday on a felony rape charge after his arrest the day prior. Court documents indicate Fuentes confessed to police that he raped a 10-year-old girl, though his relationship to the child was not immediately clear.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Detective Jeffrey Huhn testified Wednesday morning that the victim underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30th.

Read More: A rape, an abortion, and a one-source story: a child's ordeal becomes national news

The story, first reported by the Indianapolis Star earlier this month, quickly became a national talking point for abortion rights supporters, while some abortion opponents and news outlets cast doubt on the legitimacy of the account. Some conservatives such as Ohio’s Republican governor and attorney general questioned whether the case was real.

Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Ebner set Fuentes' bond at $2 million, due to Fuentes presenting a possible flight risk.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.