Man Arrested in Connection with J.D.S. Abortion Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 9, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Man Arrested in Connection with J.D.S. Abortion Case

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 9, 2003

Orlando, FL ( — The husband of a couple who owns the group home where J.D.S. was living has been arrested in connection with the J.D.S. abortion-guardian case.

J.D.S., as she is known in court records, is a mentally disabled Orlando woman who became pregnant following a rape while living at the home for persons with disabilities.

Her case made national headlines when pro-life Gov. Jeb Bush sought to appoint a guardian for her unborn child. Abortion advocates opposed the decision and court battle is still in progress despite the fact J.D.S. has already had the baby at the end of August.

Tests revealed that DNA samples taken from the baby matched 75-year old Phillip Strong, police said.

When authorities arrested Strong, he demanded to know why he was being detained. Rick Salcedo, a police detective, told the Associated Press, "We basically said, ‘You’re being charged with rape. We discovered you are the father of the infant.’"

"And he just smiled," Salcedo said.

Strong is being held on charges of sexual battery of a mentally disabled person, a first-degree felony charge.

Hester Strong, Phillip’s wife, was also arrested. Together the couple ran the group home out of their house, though it has since been shut down. Hester is being held on a second-degree felony charge of neglect of a mentally disabled person.

The Strongs will appear in court on Wednesday.

J.D.S. has lived with the Strongs since she was 3 years old. She was five months pregnant before Hester strong notified authorities she was pregnant.

The baby, legally known as "Baby Girl S," was born by Cesarean section. She has temporarily been placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children & Families.

A federal appeals court heard from both sides in the guardianship case on August 21. Now that the baby is born, the lawsuit is now more of a battle over legal precedent than the particulars of JDS’s situation.