Gerson Fuentes, 28, was charged with two felony counts of rape in an indictment filed in Franklin County, Ohio, last year in a case that made national headlines following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Fuentes, a Guatemalan national, confessed to raping the child in an interview with police, according to documents filed in Franklin County Municipal Court.
Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch said the court considers Fuentes’ crime among the most serious offenses and it was “hard pill” for the court to agree to the joint sentencing recommendation, apparently referring to the possibility of parole. “If that family hadn’t begged me to take this joint recommendation, this would never be happening,” Lynch said.
Fuentes was the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother, and the girl was under the age of 10 at the time of the rape, prosecutors said. The 10-year-old had to travel to a neighboring state to terminate the pregnancy following her rape, her physician, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, told The Indianapolis Star last summer. Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which outlaws abortion, was enacted hours after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn abortion protections in a 6-3 ruling in June last year.
The Indianapolis Star first reported on July 1, 2022, that Dr. Caitlin Bernard performed an abortion on a 10-year-old patient from Ohio who was a few days past six weeks pregnant and who couldn’t then legally obtain an abortion in her home state.
In some good news for Ohio …
Ohio abortion rights groups submit signatures for November ballot measure
Abortion rights groups in Ohio said they submitted more than 700,000 signatures to place a measure on the Nov. 7 ballot that would codify abortion rights into the state constitution.
The minimum requirement to get a ballot measure placed is 413,446 signatures. The state’s secretary of state needs to certify the signatures, making sure there are no duplicates or other errors by July 25.
The constitutional amendment calls for the establishment of “a fundamental right to reproductive freedom” with “reasonable limits.” Similar to the standard established by Roe v. Wade, it would allow abortion up to the point of a fetus’s ability to survive outside the womb, typically about 24 weeks into a pregnancy.