Indiana doctor who provided abortion services to 10-year-old rape victim reported
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis-based Ob-Gyn, reported the abortion procedure to the Indiana Department of Health on July 2, three days after the abortion was performed, as required by the department, according to documents obtained from the agency by CNN.
According to Indiana law, an abortion procedure performed on a person younger than 16 years of age must be reported to the state’s department of health and also to the department of child services within three days after the abortion is performed.
In a statement Thursday, Attorney General Todd Rokita said he is investigating whether Bernard reported the abortion and abuse, as is required under Indiana law. Rokita first made the announcement Wednesday on Fox News.
Since obtaining the documents filed by Bernard with the health department, CNN followed up with Rokita’s office and they issued an additional statement: “As we stated, we are gathering evidence from multiple sources and agencies related to these allegations. Our legal review of it remains open.”
CNN has reached out to the Indiana State Department of Child Services to inquire if Bernard also filed the report with their office.
In a statement, Bernard’s attorney said her client “took every appropriate and proper action in accordance with the law and both her medical and ethical training as a physician.”
“She followed all relevant policies, procedures, and regulations in this case, just as she does every day to provide the best possible care for her patients,” attorney Kathleen DeLaney said. “She has not violated any law, including patient privacy laws, and she has not been disciplined by her employer.”
CNN has reached out to the attorney general of Ohio for comment.
Gerson Fuentes, 27, was arrested Tuesday, according to Columbus police and court documents. He has been charged with felony rape of a minor under age 13, according to the Franklin County Municipal Court. Fuentes is being held on $2 million bond following his first court appearance Wednesday, according to the court. CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.
The case has attracted international attention. Bernard told CNN in early July she helped the Ohio girl obtain an abortion in Indiana after she was contacted by a child abuse doctor in neighboring Ohio. The girl was six weeks and three days into the pregnancy, the doctor said July 4.
Fuentes confessed to police Tuesday he raped the young girl at least twice, Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified Wednesday at Fuentes’ arraignment. He “spoke with us and admitted to having vaginal intercourse with the victim on no less than two occasions” and then was arrested, he said.
Police first were alerted to the child’s pregnancy in late June through a referral by a local children’s services department that was made by the 10-year-old’s mother, Huhn testified. The incident reported to police happened May 12, according to a police affidavit. Columbus police were notified of it June 22 and began their investigation that day.
The girl underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30, Huhn testified.
The girl on July 6 identified Fuentes as her assailant, and police on Tuesday with a search warrant obtained a swab of Fuentes’ saliva DNA, the affidavit states. Fuentes that day went to police headquarters for questioning where he confessed to raping the minor, it says.
DNA from the Indianapolis clinic was being tested against samples from Fuentes and the child’s siblings, the detective said.
Fuentes’ next court appearance is July 22, court documents show. He is an undocumented immigrant, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
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