What we know about the 10-year-old Ohio girl who had to travel to Indiana for an abortion

Following the arrest of 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes in connection with accusations of rape and impregnation of a 10-year-old girl, a variety of questions have been asked surrounding the investigation and the case.

The girl's pregnancy and its termination, which happened after she traveled from Columbus to Indianapolis for the procedure, has become a flashpoint nationally in the debate surrounding abortion in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

When were police notified of the case?

According to court records and testimony from Columbus police detective Jeffrey Huhn, Franklin County Children Services made a report to Columbus police June 22, after receiving information from the child's mother.

First in The Dispatch: Arrest made in rape of Ohio girl that led to Indiana abortion drawing international attention

Children Services workers are mandated reporters, meaning they are obligated under Ohio law to report any suspected child abuse to authorities.

What happened next?

Huhn testified the girl went to Indianapolis and had a consultation June 29. A medical abortion was performed the next day, June 30.

Police obtained genetic material from the Indianapolis clinic July 2, Huhn testified.

Why wasn't Fuentes arrested June 22?

It is unclear at what point detectives first interviewed the 10-year-old girl. Court records show the girl identified Fuentes during a July 6 interview with detectives as the person who impregnated her.

Data: Fewer Ohio minors getting abortions: 10-year-old who sought abortion was rare case

After that interview, Huhn testified, detectives obtained a search warrant for a DNA sample from Fuentes. Police served that warrant July 12, at which point detectives interviewed Fuentes.

Huhn testified, and court records show, Fuentes confessed during that interview to assaulting the 10-year-old girl on at least two occasions.

Police arrested Fuentes on July 12.

Was the arrest made too soon or not soon enough?

In many sexual assault cases where DNA evidence is available, such as in this case, an arrest takes place after DNA testing is complete.

Columbus police arrested Fuentes after, they said, he admitted to assaulting the girl, which is enough probable cause to make an arrest. The DNA testing results will be included as evidence, should the case proceed to trial.

How is the DNA testing being done?

Columbus police have their own crime lab and scientists who will test the DNA samples and evidence collected to see if it matches.

While the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation also operates a crime lab for agencies across the state, Columbus primarily uses its own laboratory and is not required to alert BCI when it tests DNA in its own cases.

When did Fuentes come to the United States?

Franklin County Public Defender Clark Torbett said during Wednesday's hearing that Fuentes had been in the country for about seven years, so since about 2015.

Fuentes had been working in a café, Torbett said. The address listed on court documents as where Fuentes lived was an apartment on the city's Northwest Side.

Heading across state lines for abortions: Patients head to Indiana for abortion services as other states restrict care

What's next in the case?

A grand jury will review Fuentes' case for potential indictment. An indictment could be filed as early as thist week.

After an indictment, Fuentes would have an arraignment, during which he would formally enter a plea and a future trial date would be set.

Why has the police report not been released?

Under Ohio public records law, police reports generated from a mandatory reporter and involving accusations of child abuse may not be released until the case is finished.

Columbus police formally denied a public records request from The Dispatch — and all other media agencies — under this public records law exemption.

Did the girl have to go to Indiana for an abortion?

In the hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, a federal judge lifted an injunction on Ohio's "heartbeat law," which does not allow abortions to take after cardiac activity, often interpreted as a heartbeat, is detected. This typically occurs around six weeks of pregnancy.

Pain, panic, praise at Ohio's clinics: The day that Roe v. Wade fell: Panic, praise at Ohio's abortion clinics

The 10-year-old girl was six weeks, three days pregnant, according to the Indiana doctor who performed the procedure.

Ohio law does not make any exceptions for rape or incest but does allow exceptions for the health of the mother. Because of the girl's age, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said the girl would have fallen under that exception.

For Dispatch subscribers: Do 10-year-olds meet 'life of mother' abortion exemptions? Ohio lawmakers, doctors divided

However, the Indiana doctor told the IndyStar that she received a referral from a doctor in Ohio who felt they could not perform the procedure in the state.

Legislators, lawyers and doctors in Ohio said there are a number of factors to consider in determining whether the health of the mother is at risk. Those factors include the child's overall health, their size and how far they are into puberty.



This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: What we know the 10-year-old Ohio girl who had an abortion in Indiana