Man charged with raping 10-year-old girl who traveled for abortion

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio grand jury 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 on access to procedure.

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

The case drew national attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the child had to travel to Indiana because Ohio had banned abortions at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat” after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the landmark decision Roe v. Wade.

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

Court records did not list any lawyers for the rape suspect after the indictment. His appearance is scheduled for Monday.

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Initial court records did not specify if or how the suspect knew the girl, and authorities provided no comments or additional details in response to inquiries about it.

The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual assault and, at this time, does not name the suspect to avoid inadvertently identifying the girl.

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