AP

Man indicted in rape of girl, 10, who traveled for abortion

Jul 21, 2022, 11:23 AM | Updated: 12:01 pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A grand jury in Ohio has indicted the man accused of raping and impregnating a 10-year-old girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion that became a flashpoint in the national debate over access to the procedure.

The 27-year-old defendant is charged with two felony counts of rape in an indictment filed Thursday in county court in Columbus.

The case drew national attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the child had to go to Indiana because Ohio banned abortions at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat” after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

Before the criminal case against the suspect was revealed, Ohio’s Republican attorney general and a GOP congressman from the state were among conservatives who publicly questioned whether the story about the girl was true. Democratic President Joe Biden highlighted the girl’s case at the signing of an executive order aimed at protecting access to abortion.

Court records listed no attorney for the rape suspect after the indictment. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Initial court records didn’t specify whether or how the suspect knew the girl, and authorities haven’t provided comment or additional details in response to requests about that. The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault and, for now, is not naming the suspect to avoid inadvertently identifying the girl.

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Man indicted in rape of girl, 10, who traveled for abortion