Gershon Fuentes appeared in court in the city of Columbus yesterday. US President Joe Biden spoke about the case in a speech at the White House. As a reminder, millions of women lost their long-standing constitutional right to abortion after the decision of the US Supreme Court in June.
In a speech last Friday condemning the ruling, President Biden launched into a report on the child's case, angrily saying, "Imagine being that little girl!" Millions of women and girls lost a longstanding constitutional right to abortion after a US Supreme Court decision in June.
He faces life imprisonment
Hours after the Supreme Court's decision, Ohio lawmakers banned abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. According to local media, the child was six weeks and three days pregnant.
The accused admitted that he raped the girl, and this was confirmed by DNA analysis. Fuentes is a citizen of Guatemala and is in the US illegally, Fox News reports citing an unknown source. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
The case was first brought to the public on July 1 with few details in the IndyStar. While other media scrambled to confirm the story, prominent Republicans began to question its veracity. Among the skeptics was Congressman Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who tweeted that the story was "another lie." The tweet has since been deleted.
The child was six weeks and three days pregnant, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper. Referred by a child abuse doctor in Ohio, the girl visited a clinic in Indianapolis, Indiana, to undergo a medical abortion on 30 June.
Although efforts are under way to restrict abortion access in Ohio's neighbouring state, the procedure still remains legal there. Following the Supreme Court ruling, 26 US states have either severely restricted abortions or are expected to do so in the coming weeks and months. According to prosecutors, the child may have been nine years old when she was attacked.