A man who allegedly raped and impregnated his 10-year-old step-daughter has been arrested.
A Paraguayan man, Gilberto Benitez Zarate, accused of raping and impregnating his 10-year-old step daughter, has been arrested after being on the run for over two weeks.
Zarate, whose action caused national uproar when the mother of the girl wanted to secure an abortion for her, sparking a debate on abortion in Paraguay, was arrested on Saturday, May 9.
But the 42-year-old Zarate, who faces a 15 year jail term if convicted, has maintained his innocence, claiming he was set-up by his girlfriend, the girl's mother because he threatened to leave her.
He reportedly told the press during questioning:
"I will do any paternity test to show it wasn't me. I've been with tons of women, and I never got anybody pregnant."
The alleged rape and pregnancy of the 10-year-old girl had prompted a heated abortion discussion in both houses of the country's Congress.
Abortion is a criminal offense in the conservative Roman Catholic, except in cases when the mother's life is in danger.
The girl's pregnancy was not discovered until April 21 when her mother brought her to a public health clinic believing she had a tumor. The mother is now under arrest by authorities who believe she enabled her daughter's abuse.