COLUMBUS, Ohio — The man accused of raping a 10-year old Ohio girl is being held without bond after entering a not guilty plea Monday to two counts of rape.
Gerson Fuentes’s appearance in a Franklin County courtroom Monday followed his indictment by a Franklin County grand jury, but the case has created a flashpoint in the country’s ongoing debate over abortion and women’s reproductive rights.
A detective with the Columbus Division of Police testified during Fuentes’ initial arraignment on July 13 that they received a report from Franklin County Children Services from a parent who said her then 9-year-old daughter was raped and became pregnant.
The detective added that the victim underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30. A document from the Indiana Department of Health says she was 10 at the time of the abortion.
According to police, the victim identified Fuentes as the person who raped her. Investigators questioned Fuentes at police headquarters where he confessed to raping the victim on at least two occasions
While Fuentes’ appearance in court lasted only five minutes, there have been weeks of uproar after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a nearly 50-year precedent with Roe now sending laws governing abortions back to the states.
Here in Ohio, the law banning abortion after 6 weeks prompted the 10-year-old rape victim in this case to travel to Indiana to get an abortion.
The prosecutors asked that he be held on no bond.
Even if he were to get a bond, Fuentes’ attorney said because he is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala Immigration and Customs Enforcement may have placed a holder on him.
Authorities have said that Fuentes confessed to the crime, but his attorney says he hasn’t seen the evidence and wonders if Fuentes lack of fluency in English may impact this alleged confession.
In the meantime, 10 Investigates asked his attorney if Fuentes is aware of how this criminal case in particular has become such a flashpoint in the ongoing abortion debate.
“I certainly do think it is a shame that this situation has turned into a political football that is being kicked around by a lot of people for their own benefit rather than focusing on the facts of what may or may not have happened here,” said attorney Bryan Bowen. “Certainly this is an issue that is at a flashpoint in our society but I don’t think it could help but have some impact – but it’s too early to judge what that is going to be. 12:10:06 certainly it’s something I’m concerned about.”
Fuentes is being held without bond. During a hearing held on Thursday in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, a judge ordered that Fuentes be held without bond.
If convicted, he could face life in prison.