COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The lawyer for a man accused of raping and impregnating a 10-year-old girl stood Friday in court, but the defendant did not.
Defense attorney Bryan Bowen said his client, 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes, appeared to be afraid when the two last met.
“I met with him yesterday at the Franklin County Jail down on Jackson Pike,” Bowen told NBC4. “He’s obviously scared. He’s obviously concerned. He’s obviously upset about the situation.”
Bowen appeared on behalf of Fuentes for his preliminary hearing, after a Franklin County Grand Jury indicted him on two counts of rape. While Columbus police originally said they arrested Fuentes after he confessed to the crimes, Bowen said he expects his client to plead not guilty now.
The indictment accused Fuentes of raping a then 9-year-old girl twice: once between Jan. 1 and May 11, and a second time on May 12. Investigators told the court that the victim, now 10, became pregnant and had to travel to Indiana to get an abortion.
The case has drawn comments from multiple activists and politicians supporting and opposing abortion rights, including President Joe Biden.
“Ten years old; raped; six weeks pregnant; already traumatized,” Biden said last week. “[She] was forced to travel to another state. Imagine being that little girl.”