Authorities in India think they finally found the man who raped and impregnated a 10 year old girl earlier this year.
Police said DNA from the girl’s baby matches that of the girl’s uncle, the younger brother of a man initially accused of the crime, CNN reports.
The girl’s case attracted international attention this summer after her parents asked the Supreme Court of India to allow her to have a late-term abortion. The girl was six-months pregnant at the time and did not know about her parents’ request.
The high court refused their request after doctors said the abortion was too risky. The girl gave birth in August.
The girl told police her older uncle abused her, and police said the uncle admitted to the crime. However, in September, DNA evidence indicated that he was not the baby’s father.
This week, police in Chandigarh in northern India said a new DNA test indicates the baby is the child of the younger brother. Authorities said the second uncle has been arrested, and both brothers are being charged with rape.
The girl’s parents are making an adoption plan for the baby, unbeknownst to her. According to reports, the family and doctors did not tell the young girl that she was pregnant.
“Her doctor told CNN the girl didn’t know she was pregnant. Her parents told her that she needed surgery for a kidney stone problem, and refused to allow medical professionals to tell their child the truth …” CNN reported in August.
Sexual abuse is a huge problem in India, with 20,000 cases of sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data reported by AFP.
The Supreme Court of India has heard a number of requests for late-term abortions from families of young rape victims in the past few months. Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India, but the high court has granted a number of exceptions for young rape victims.
Earlier in September, the Supreme Court gave a 13-year-old girl permission to abort her unborn baby at 32 weeks; however, the girl gave birth to a live baby. The baby boy died two days later, likely because his lungs were underdeveloped.
In May, the high court granted permission for another 10-year-old rape victim to have a late-term abortion when she was about 20 weeks pregnant. In that case, the girl’s stepfather allegedly raped her.
Similarly, in 2015, the India Supreme Court also gave an exception to a 14-year-old rape victim who was past 20 weeks pregnant. At the time, the BBC reported a team of doctors decided the girl was not physically or emotionally fit to give birth to her baby.
At 20 weeks, an unborn baby already is fully formed and close to the point of viability (about 23 weeks). Late-term abortions also are risky and can be deadly for the mother as well as her unborn child.