Correcting the Record on a Rape Case

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on reproductive rights on July 8.


Photo:

Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

It seems that President Biden got it right when he told a story about a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped and traveled to Indiana for an abortion. We wondered about the case Tuesday after no one had confirmed its accuracy or any public account of the crime, despite the story making media rounds for nearly two weeks.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday afternoon that Columbus police arrested 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes, who confessed to the sexual assault. Mr Fuentes was charged with first-degree rape and is being held on $2 million bail. According to the Dispatch story, police learned of the girl’s pregnancy through a referral from Franklin County Children Services made by her mother on June 22.

The Dispatch is part of the USA Today newspaper network, which also includes the Indianapolis Star, which reported on July 1 that the 10-year-old had traveled to Indiana. The star’s story was based on a single source and provided no other confirmation.

Mr. Biden focused on history last Friday when he announced a new executive order to boost abortion services. The White House also did not provide backup details. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said publicly this week that he has heard “no whispers” from local law enforcement about such a case.

It is unusual that no one in law enforcement stepped forward to confirm the rape report had been made, especially after the story had gone viral on the internet for days. But we appreciate our obligation to correct the record of the case, which is horrific. The best news is that a suspected rapist has been taken off the streets.

These columns have long supported abortion rights, albeit in far more limited ways than those permitted below Roe v. calf. The country needs to come up with a rough consensus on abortion now that it’s back in the States and the political process. One way to help is to ensure that abortion stories can be easily corroborated by either side of the debate. Passions are already heated up enough.

Wonder Land: Democrats always seem on the verge of pushing politics into a state of civil unrest. Images: Getty Images/The Boston Globe Composite: Mark Kelly

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Published in the print edition on July 14, 2022.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-politicized-rape-case-ends-in-arrest-indiana-ohio-ten-year-old-girl-caitlin-bernard-joe-biden-11657749610 Correcting the Record on a Rape Case

Alley Einstein

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