As the heartbreaking rape case involving an impregnated 10-year-old child unfolds, Townhall has revealed additional details about the exploitative environment the little girl was—and might still be—subjected to. New information has come to light about the illegal immigrant who raped the girl, a romantic relationship the rapist is in with the child's mother, and the coverup that ensued in the aftermath of his crime.
National attention was thrusted upon the local story of a young pregnant child from Ohio who traveled across state lines to receive an abortion in Indiana, even though The Buckeye State's heartbeat bill makes an exception when the mother's life is in danger. Nothing was known about the identity of the child predator left to roam free or basic facts about the rape case, including if charges had even been filed against the sex offender.
But then, out of the blue last Wednesday, 27-year-old illegal alien Gerson Fuentes—a Guatemalan national who's been living in the U.S. illegally for at least seven years—was arraigned in court for the girl's rape. The public wasn't made aware of the arraignment hearing happening until The Columbus Dispatch patted itself on the back not once—but twice—for its lone, hyperlocal coverage in the courtroom. (The Dispatch is a sister outlet to The Indianapolis Star, which had first published the July 1 single-source story based on one abortion activist's sensational tale, and both are part of the Gannett-branded, well-funded USA Today network.)
Fuentes, charged with first-degree felony rape of a child under 13yo, was arraigned Wednesday morning. He has a preliminary hearing in Franklin County Municipal Court scheduled for July 22. pic.twitter.com/uPwUvtdYgt— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) July 13, 2022
After the suspect's first court appearance, the mother of the rape victim defended Fuentes in an interview with Noticias Telemundo, alleging that her child is "fine" and "everything they're saying against him is a lie," according to a Spanish-to-English translation by the Director of Media Research Center (MRC) Latino Jorge Bonilla.
The mother asserted, "Of course," on camera when asked if Fuentes is innocent. Hiding her face from reporters and refusing to provide her name, the mother opened the door of the residence where police verified Fuentes lives, Telemundo reported. The mother also confirmed the minor lived at the visited property as well.
In a follow-up Telemundo video, a local source confirmed to Telemundo that the mother is in a domestic relationship with Fuentes. Deisy Torres, who said she and the child's mother both frequent the same nightclub, told Telemundo correspondent María Vargas-Pion: "He's her partner. And he is the father of the child she is carrying in her womb right now." Vargas-Pion clarified, "So the woman is pregnant," which Torres affirmed.
WATCH: A source confirmed to Telemundo that the mother of the 10-year-old rape victim is in a relationship with Fuentes.— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) July 16, 2022
"He's her partner. And he is the father of the child [the mother] is carrying in her womb right now."
Translation by @BonillaJLpic.twitter.com/tt3t2CyoGI
Not only is the mother publicly standing by her boyfriend, she is apparently photographed posing next to her child's alleged rapist—seen smiling in a picture while the man with a striking resemblance to Fuentes's booking photo flashes a toothy grin. His arm appears to be wrapped around her.
Who exactly is this mystery woman seemingly scrambling to cover up her daughter's sexual abuse?
Townhall dug into Fuentes's social media history across multiple platforms and found a digital trail leading back to his paramour. In the replies of a Nov. 18, 2021 multi-photo Instagram post featuring shots of Fuentes, an Instagram user with the handle @lourdesgomez4754 commented "I love you baby" along with three heart emojis. In a Feb. 3 video uploaded to Instagram by Fuentes, the same user replied with four heart-eyes emojis.
A screenshot of Gerson Fuentes's post on Instagram displaying comments from Lourdes Gomez.
The woman's affection for Fuentes also appeared in the comments section of a March 31 TikTok video where a private TikTok account going by the username @lourdesgomez022 reacted with similar adoring emojis.
That's how the online breadcrumbs can be traced to 33-year-old Lourdes "Lulu" Gomez's various Facebook accounts, one of which (the most active Facebook profile of hers in recent months) had proudly displayed what looks like Fuentes in her profile picture up until last weekend. Gomez scrubbed her Facebook profile and changed her featured picture Saturday to a temporary one showing only a Facebook Avatar of herself.
A screenshot of Lourdes Gomez's profile on Facebook before it was scrubbed.
In a picture from 2020 that used to be Gomez's cover photo before Saturday, the mother is surrounded by six children, including two boys: the same number of brothers the victim has, as noted by Det. Jeffrey Huhn. (The detective testified that police collected DNA samples from the girl's two male siblings for paternity testing.)
Also consistent with the case's location, Gomez's account has liked the Facebook pages of schools, businesses, and bilingual news outlets based in the city of Columbus, the jurisdiction where the rape occurred.
Sources in the community told The Sussi Report, an investigative news site covering central Ohio, that Fuentes and Gomez have been together for quite some time and corroborated that she is pregnant with his baby.
Gomez's on-the-record defense of Fuentes raises the question of whether the mother is in the U.S. legally and if she fears deportation, hence why she's asserting that the accusations are a fabrication. An old Facebook account of hers says Gomez went to Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, and is from Oaxaca City, Mexico. A past run-in with police might provide further insight into the matter. According to Franklin County Municipal Court records reviewed by Townhall, in 2019, a Columbus Police officer had ticketed Gomez for operating a vehicle without a valid license—a misdemeanor in the first degree—and failure to signal.
A file room supervisor in the county court clerk's office sent Townhall a copy of the ticket that has "None" checked off next to the driver's license category while the "Not on person" option was left unmarked by the cop. Gomez pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge, a judgment entry also provided to Townhall says.
In a video recording and as stated in an official transcript Townhall obtained through a court reporter, the magistrate presiding over Gomez's proceeding explained that if she entered a guilty plea to the first charge of no operator's license, then the second charge would be dismissed. The maximum penalty for the conviction the magistrate could've imposed was six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. "You may be deported and you may be denied admission or denied naturalization to the United States," the magistrate warned of "other potential penalties" Gomez faced, meaning she was not a U.S. citizen. Pleading guilty, Gomez agreed to the magistrate's conditions, with the help of translation services provided by a court-certified Spanish interpreter.
A screenshot of a transcript of Lourdes Gomez's hearing before a magistrate in 2019. (Franklin County Municipal Court)
Townhall reached out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding Gomez's legal status and Midwest deputy press secretary Erin Bultje said "ICE has no further information to provide." (An ICE source had told Fox News reporter Bill Melugin that the federal agency placed a detainer on Fuentes with local authorities, which suspect that Fuentes, who's been residing in the Columbus area over a seven-year period, isn't using his real name. Huhn testified to the court: "We have no legal documents to ascertain who he may actually be.")
Torres reposted her Telemundo interview on TikTok with a caption disclosing to her followers that the mother of the 10-year-old girl "still has her kids" but "now we all trying to contact child services because its not fair." Torres has acknowledged Townhall's request for comment but has not responded at the time of publishing.
Franklin County Children Services, whose referral first alerted police, declined Townhall's initial inquiry about the Columbus rape case, stating they're prohibited from sharing details pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 5101.13 through 5101.134 and 5153.17. When asked if the girl is now in FCCS custody, a representative said the child welfare agency "is not able to provide the further information you seek at this time," reiterating that the information requested "is considered confidential," citing Ohio law again, "and therefore not releasable."
Townhall asked law enforcement if the mother will face criminal charges for allegedly enabling the sexual abuse and if the girl has been removed from the abusive household in question. Columbus Police public information officer Andrés Antequera replied: "Out of compassion for the victims, the Columbus Division of Police will not comment on any rapes or sexual assaults of juveniles." Townhall inquired if the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office would prosecute the mother. First assistant prosecuting attorney Janet Grubb, of the Franklin County's criminal division, said: "We do not comment about matters under active prosecution or internal review."
Questions still remain surrounding the timeline of events, which points to a lack of action on the part of the authorities to quickly intervene and seek justice for this child, especially if the abuser is in the same home. Why did it take almost six weeks for the police to be made aware of the crime? Meanwhile, the abortion was set up and underway within one day's time. On the date Fuentes was charged, two full months had already gone by since the sexual abuse began. By then, the child was hauled to neighboring Indiana and the June 29 consultation for the out-of-state abortion was promptly followed a day later by the June 30 abortion procedure.
A criminal complaint naming Fuentes says the rape took place on May 12 around 8:00 pm. Fuentes admitted to raping the child at least two times on separate occasions, Huhn said from the witness stand during verbal testimony. Over a month passed before police were even assigned the case on June 22 via mandated reporting. (Huhn stated that the initial report came from the mother, who indicated that her daughter was pregnant, but his testimony did not specify if the mother's report means she reported the abuse to FCCS. According to FCCS guidelines, mandated reporters are officials or professionals in positions of authority such as teachers or physicians, who are mandated to report child abuse. The classification does not include parents.)
Two more weeks go by, and Columbus Police then contacted the victim's family. During the July 6 exchange, the girl "acknowledged that Gerson Fuentes was, indeed, the father of the pregnancy," Huhn said.
A probable cause affidavit says that, on July 6, the 10-year-old girl referenced Fuentes "as the suspect who raped her."— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) July 14, 2022
Detectives served a search warrant to obtain a buccal swab to DNA test Fuentes's saliva. Then at police HQ, the suspect "confessed to raping" the child. pic.twitter.com/QvH68fhfay
A probable cause affidavit corroborates that the girl identified Fuentes on July 6 "as the suspect who raped her." Detectives issued a search warrant for a buccal swab to DNA test Fuentes's saliva a week later. Then at police headquarters last Tuesday, that's when Fuentes "confessed to raping" the child, the document says.
All public records requests for the rape report have been denied by Columbus Police pursuant to ORC 2151.421, which pertains to the reporting of child abuse, because it was initiated by "a mandated reporter" and "is not a public record," public records supervisor Kathryn Hartshorne told Townhall. "No other records will be released from this investigation until the Fuentes case is adjudicated," in accordance with ORC 149.43(A)(2)(c).
The only new material released by Columbus Police at this time is the division's mugshot of Fuentes.
A screenshot of Gerson Fuentes's mugshot taken by Columbus Police.
Fuentes, now charged with first-degree felony rape of a child under the age of 13, was arrested last Tuesday and remains at Franklin County Jail in Columbus after bond was set at $2 million. The aborted baby—retrieved by police on July 2—was entered into evidence to determine the paternity of the child. Fuentes has a preliminary hearing scheduled for this Friday and he faces a potential life sentence in prison, if convicted.
Townhall contacted Gomez on social media for comment.