Man on Trial for Secretly Trying to Abort His Girlfriend’s Baby With Herbs

National   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Sep 19, 2013   |   5:06PM   |   Washington, DC

Testimony in the trial of Alfredo Vargas got underway yesterday. Vargas is charged with giving Lisa Komes, a former girlfriend, a herb to induce an abortion  in 2010.

“The evidence will show that this is a shocking case of the attempted poisoning of a pregnant woman,” Assistant Deputy State’s Attorney Scott Roetzel told the jury Wednesday afternoon.

This is the second trial for Vargas. According to the Rapid City Journal, in August, 2012, after Circuit Judge Mary Thorstenson rejected his expert witnesses, Roetzel dismissed a similar charge against Vargas. Roetzel refilled the charge in October.

Komes was the first witness. She told the jury she discovered she was pregnant in February 2010. She testified that at one point Vargas said “we should get an abortion.”

She said her pregnancy became “the elephant in the room,” according to the Journal’s Andrea Cook. Komes asked Vargas to leave but after a month they began seeing each other again. Komes testified about Vargas having given her a series of fountain drinks.

“Then in mid-May, Komes became suspicious when Vargas brought her a 32-ounce fountain pop that she said smelled of mint,” according to Cook. “She then called police. ‘I think I told them I thought my boyfriend was trying to poison me,’ Komes recalled.” Something similar happened again two weeks later.

“Several months later and after her son was born, Komes learned that the first soda contained pulegone,” Cook reported.

The defense ridiculed the allegations, describing pulegone as an essential oil found in a common cooking mint extract. Komes testified that “she never sought medical attention or mentioned those suspicions to her doctor,” Cook reported. “No blood tests or other tests were conducted for any poisons.”

Roetzel countered that “jurors they would hear from other witnesses who will testify that Vargas admitted giving Komes other substances to induce an abortion,” according to Cook.



“Roetzel also told the jury that Vargas left Rapid City for Puerto Rico ‘so fast his roommate was evicted’ because Vargas’ name was on their lease.”

Vargas faces up to 25 years in prison, if convicted. Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.