The Right-Wing Noise Machine™ has spent this week attacking an Ohio doctor who was forced to refer a ten-year-old child who was sexually assaulted and impregnated to get an abortion out of state in Indiana because of Ohio's "Heartbeat Bill" six-week ban on abortions reinstated by the state's GOP Attorney General, Dave Yost, the day after Roe v Wade was struck down by the Supreme Court. Several right wing news outlets called the story a hoax, even the Ny Times and Washington Post openly questioned the validity of the story.
Yost himself went on FOX News last night to say there wasn't a "whisper" of evidence that the story was true, that there wasn't a "damn scintilla of evidence".
Less than 24 hours later, a Columbus man was arraigned on those exact charges.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost appeared on Fox News this week, casting doubt on the veracity of Dr. Caitlin Bernard's account that a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim needed to travel to Indiana for an abortion.
Yost, a Republican, doubled down on that in an interview with the USA TODAY Network Ohio bureau on Tuesday.
"Every day that goes by the more likely that this is a fabrication. I know the cops and prosecutors in this state. There's not one of them that wouldn't be turning over every rock, looking for this guy and they would have charged him," he said. "I'm not saying it could not have happened. What I'm saying to you is there is not a damn scintilla of evidence. And shame on the Indianapolis paper that ran this thing on a single source who has an obvious axe to grind.""
After news broke Wednesday of an arrest in the case, Yost issued a single sentence statement: "We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets."
He later added that he's "absolutely delighted that this monster has been taken off the street. If convicted, he should spend the rest of his life in prison."
Gershon Fuentes, 27, of Columbus, was arrested Tuesday after police say he confessed to raping the child. He is charged with rape.
Yost is endorsed by the Ohio Right to Life PAC.
The same day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Yost went to federal court to lift a stay on an Ohio law that bans abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected, usually about six weeks into a pregnancy.
Called the "heartbeat" ban, the new law prohibits abortions, including in cases of rape or incest. The only exception is if the life of the mother were in jeopardy.
Democrat Jeff Crossman, Yost's opponent in the AG's race, said the attorney general misrepresented the law, indicating a 10-year-old would qualify for an exception when there is no exceptions for rape and incest. "He doesn't care about the facts."
Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called the child rape case a "tragedy," but didn't weigh in on the law he signed that barred her from getting the procedure in Ohio.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for DeWine said the governor has no further comment.
"And he has said that if the evidence supports, the rapist should spend the rest of his life in prison," said DeWine press secretary Dan Tierney.
Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who is running against DeWine for governor, called on both DeWine and Yost to apologize for questioning the validity of the case.
The DeWine campaign called Whaley's statement misleading and false, saying "At no point did he express anything but empathy and compassion and demanded justice for the child victim."