Gerson Fuentes, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala accused of raping a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was traveling to Indiana for an abortion, was ordered held without bond Thursday.
The 27-year-old faces two counts of raping the girl, who was 10 years old before the abortion. He has pleaded not guilty.
Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch cited that evidence, the violence of the crime and the fact that Fuentes lived in the same home with the girl and her mother while he was in the country illegally.
“To allow him to return to that home, the traumatic and psychological impact would be inappropriate for an alleged victim,” Lynch said.
Ohio 10-year-old alleged rapist is Guatemalan illegal immigrant: Snow
She cited the girl’s “physical, and mental and emotional trauma” from enduring the rape and abortion, and the fact that her case has found itself at the center of the country’s abortion debate.
The girl confirmed Fuentes assaulted her, Fuentes confessed to Columbus police detectives and DNA testing of the aborted fetus confirmed Fuentes was the father, Franklin County Prosecutor Dan Meyer and Detective Jeffrey Huhn said in court Thursday.
Huhn said that in searching multiple databases, he was unable to find any evidence that Fuentes was in the country legally.
If convicted, Fuentes faces life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Indianapolis physician Dr. Caitlin Barnard said the case gained national attention after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which said a ban on abortion at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat” forced the child to move to Indiana.
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President Biden echoed the story earlier this month when he announced measures to protect abortion access in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent Roe v. Wade decision.
“Ten years old. Raped, six weeks pregnant. Already traumatized. She was forced to move to another state. Imagine that little girl,” Biden said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.