Man Who Raped, Impregnated Ohio 10-Year-Old Sentenced

Gerson Fuentes' victim had to travel to Indiana for abortion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2023 5:35 PM CDT
Man Who Raped, Impregnated Ohio 10-Year-Old Sentenced
Gerson Fuentes enters Franklin County common pleas court in Columbus, Ohio, for a bond hearing, July 28, 2022. .   (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

An Ohio man who raped his girlfriend's young daughter, causing the 10-year-old to seek an abortion in Indiana in a case that made national headlines, has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Gerson Fuentes, a 28-year-old Guatemalan national, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a minor Wednesday and was sentenced immediately under a plea deal, NBC reports. The girl was 9 years old when she was raped by Fuentes last year. She went to a doctor in late June last year complaining of symptoms including fatigue and a pregnancy test came back positive.

Within days of the girl's visit to her doctor, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and an Ohio "heartbeat" law banning abortions after six weeks kicked in, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The girl, then 10 years old and a few days over six weeks pregnant, went to Indiana for an abortion, though after the case made the news and there was an outcry from abortion rights advocates, some conservatives questioned whether she even existed, the New York Times reports. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost initially called the case "likely fabricated." After Fuentes was arrested, Yost said his "heart aches for the pain suffered by this young child."

Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Daniel Lener said that after the girl's abortion, the "product of conception" was tested for DNA, and Fuentes confessed after investigators took DNA swabs from everybody in the girl's residence, the Columbus Dispatch reports. If he ever gets out of prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender and could face deportation. The Dispatch notes that the Ohio law that prevented the girl from having an abortion in the state was only in place for 82 days before a judge put the restrictions on hold. (More Ohio stories.)

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