A lawyer for Dr. Caitlin Bernard said that her client received a notice that she is being investigated by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.
Bernard made international headlines when she told a reporter that she performed an abortion on a ten-year-old rape victim who traveled to Indiana from Ohio, where abortions are banned after six weeks. Gerson Fuentes, 27, has been charged with raping the young girl and pleaded not guilty on Monday (July 25).
“We are in the process of reviewing this information. It’s unclear to us what is the nature of the investigation and what authority he has to investigate Dr. Bernard,” attorney Kathleen DeLaney said.
The investigation appears to be focusing on whether Bernard reported the rape to the appropriate authorities. Bernard claims she did file the reports, and documents obtained by the Washington Post show that she reported the rape and abortion to the state ahead of the deadline.
Last week, DeLaney sent a tort claim to Rokita seeking damages, alleging him of making false claims about Bernard.
“Mr. Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession constitute defamation per se,” the notice says, according to IndyStar. “The statements have been and continue to be published by or on behalf of Mr. Rokita and the Office of the Attorney General. To the extent that these statements exceed the general scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Attorney General, the statement forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim against Mr. Rokita individually.”