A Columbus, Ohio, man was arrested Tuesday after police say he confessed to raping a 10-year-old girl who had to travel to Indiana for an abortion, following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
Gershon Fuentes, 27, was charged on Wednesday with rape. During the hearing, Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified that Columbus police learned about the girl's pregnancy after a referral was made by Franklin County Children's Services, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Huhn said the girl underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30, and DNA from the clinic will be tested against a sample from Fuentes. He also testified that the girl told police Fuentes was the person who impregnated her.
Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Dan Meyer told the court it's believed that Fuentes is undocumented and there are questions about his identity. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Earlier this month, the Indianapolis Star reported on the 10-year-old girl having to go to Indiana for an abortion, citing a local physician named Caitlin Bernard. President Biden discussed the case, saying, "Imagine being that little girl," as did anti-abortion and conservative lawmakers and commentators, who questioned the story.
During an appearance on Fox News on Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) told host Jesse Watters that his office is in "regular contact with prosecutors and local police and sheriffs," and there had not been "a whisper anywhere" about the girl. He later told the USA Today Network in Ohio that the longer it took to get confirmation of the abortion, the "more likely that this is a fabrication." On Wednesday, after Fuentes' arrest was announced, Yost released a statement saying, "We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets." On Twitter, hundreds of users have tweeted at him, demanding he apologize to the 10-year-old rape victim and her family.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board also entered the fray, publishing an opinion piece on Tuesday titled "An Abortion Story Too Good to Confirm." The op-ed said there was "no evidence the girl exists" and "so far, no one has been able to identify the girl or where she lives," and went on to claim that "what we seem to have here is a presidential seal of approval on an unlikely story from a biased source that neatly fits the progressive narrative but can't be confirmed."
This op-ed is still on the Journal's website, with an editor's note now tacked on it. The newspaper also published a follow-up on Wednesday night, stating that "it appears President Biden was accurate when he related a story about a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped and traveled to Indiana for an abortion." The editorial board claimed it was "unusual that no one in law enforcement stepped forward to confirm that the rape referral had been made, especially after the story had gone viral for days on the internet. But we appreciate our obligation to correct the record on the case, which is a terrible one."