Man pleads not guilty to rape of 10-year-old Ohio girl

A 27-year-old man pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges that he raped a 10-year-old Ohio girl, an episode that became subject to a national firestorm amid a heated abortion debate.

Last week, Gerson Fuentes was indicted on two felony counts of rape by a Franklin County grand jury and allegedly confessed to police that he had raped the girl, according to court documents.

MAN INDICTED IN RAPE OF 10-YEAR-OLD OHIO GIRL WHO TRAVELED TO INDIANA FOR ABORTION

Fuentes, whose last known address was a Columbus apartment, made his not guilty plea in a Franklin County court.

If convicted, Fuentes could face up to life in prison without the opportunity for parole for at least 15 years. He was arrested on July 12 and is being held without bond. A hearing on his bond status has not yet been scheduled.

The unidentified 10-year-old from Ohio reportedly crossed into neighboring Indiana to obtain an abortion about a week after the Supreme Court overturned precedents first established in Roe v. Wade that guaranteed a national right to abortion access. She had been six weeks and three days pregnant at the time, the Indianapolis Star reported.

With Roe scrapped, an Ohio law banning abortion after fetal heartbeats are detected went into effect. Fetal heartbeats can be detected as soon as six weeks of gestation. Lax abortion laws proponents, such as President Joe Biden, pointed to the 10-year-old’s story as a reason for keeping the procedure legal.

The girl’s mother disputed media reporting on Fuentes and her daughter, contending “everything they say about” him is a “lie” and telling a Telemundo reporter her 10-year-old is “fine.” Fuentes and the mother appear to be in a domestic relationship, according to the outlet.

Fuentes is an illegal immigrant and could also face deportation, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement previously told the Washington Examiner.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indiana doctor who treated the 10-year-old victim, is gearing up for a lawsuit for defamation against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita over claims that she did not adequately report performing the abortion in compliance with state law. Rokita has vowed to “defend against baseless claims.”

Her employer opened its own investigation and concluded she did not breach state privacy laws and properly reported the procedure.

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