Chris Lange, FISM News
President Biden’s reference last week to a story of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped and forced to travel out of state for an abortion came as news to the state’s attorney general. Buckeye State AG David Yost told Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime” Monday that his office has heard “not a whisper anywhere” of any such case.
“We have a decentralized law enforcement system in Ohio, but we have regular contact with prosecutors and local police and sheriffs,” Yost said, pointing out that his office oversees Ohio’s crime lab.
“Any case like this, you’re going to have a rape kit, you’re going to have biological evidence, and you would be looking for DNA analysis, which we do most of the DNA analysis in Ohio,” Yost said. “There is no case request for analysis that looks anything like this.”
The AG said that prosecutors and law enforcement in his state would “be turning over every rock in their jurisdiction if they had the slightest hint that this occurred there.”
The story first came to light in a July 1 report published in the Indianapolis Star. The article cited a local OB-GYN named Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who said she had been contacted four days earlier by an Ohio “child abuse doctor” with information about a 10-year-old rape victim who was six weeks and three days pregnant. Under Ohio’s “trigger-ban” that went into effect following the Supreme Court’s June 24 repeal of Roe v. Wade, the girl would have been three days too late to obtain an abortion.
Apparent holes in the Star’s story, however, prompted suspicions about its veracity on social media and among conservative news outlets. For example, the newspaper reported that Bernard assumed responsibility for the girl’s care, but did not include any information indicating that an abortion or any other procedure took place.
Moreover, the story never named the doctor who Bernard credited with informing her about the girl’s plight. Critics also pointed out that Bernard appeared to be the only source for the article.
Ohio law requires doctors to report all cases of known or suspected child abuse or neglect. If Yost is correct in his belief that law enforcement has no knowledge of a rape case involving a 10-year-old girl, it would appear to indicate that either the unnamed doctor violated state law, or Bernard fabricated the story.
“We don’t know who the originating doctor in Ohio was, if they even exist,” Yost told Watters on Monday night. “But the bottom line is, it is a crime — if you’re a mandated reporter — to fail to report.”
Other news outlets and fact-checking websites, including the Washington Post and Snopes, have so far been unable to independently verify the Star report, according to The New York Post. The Post said it reached out to Bernard last week, but that she had not responded as of Wednesday.
Yost further diminished the theme of the Star article when he told Watters that an exception was built into the Ohio trigger law that would have allowed the girl to obtain an abortion in the state “if she exists and if this horrible thing actually happened to her.”
“Imagine being that little girl,” the president said. “I’m serious, just imagine being that little girl. Ten years old!”
At a White House briefing later that day, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by a reporter if the White House had taken any steps to verify the story.
“I don’t have more to share on the identity of this young woman or the question that you just asked me,” she replied. “The president spoke to that young woman just to show how extreme the decision on — the Dobbs decision was and just how extreme it is now for American public, the — American families when there is no exception at all.”
Jean-Pierre deferred further questions on the matter to the Justice Department, though the Post pointed out that cases like the one described would be handled by local law enforcement, not the DOJ.
Police in Columbus, Ohio arrested Gershon Fuentes, who is apparently an illegal immigrant, for the rape of a 10-year-old girl, according to a report in The Columbus Dispatch. Franklin County Children Services notified police that the girl had been raped after her mother reported that she was pregnant on June 22.
The girl underwent an abortion in Indianapolis on June 30.
Stay tuned to FISM.tv/news for further updates.