ST. ANTHONY, Idaho -- May 8, 2008 -- A man has been charged with raping a10-year-old girl who later gave birth in eastern Idaho.
The girl gave birth less than two weeks ago by caesarian sectionat Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Fremont County SheriffRalph C. Davis and other authorities said. Officials would notdisclose the gender, date of birth or paternity of the baby.
"I wouldn't have believed a 10-year-old could conceive in thefirst place," Davis said.
A hospital spokeswoman would not discuss the condition of thegirl or the baby and would not say whether either was still in thehospital Wednesday.
The story was first reported by KIDK Television in Idaho Falls.
St. Anthony police began investigating on April 28 after medicalofficials reported a pregnant child, and GuadalupeGutierrez-Juarez, 37, of St. Anthony, was arrested the same day,Police Chief James Smith said.
"We had good information from witnesses," Smith said.
In documents that were filed April 29 in 7th District Court andobtained by The Associated Press, Gutierrez-Juarez is charged withone count of rape. He remained in jail with bail set at $250,000pending a preliminary hearing May 13.
Authorities said Gutierrez-Juarez did not have legaldocumentation to live in the United States. His home town andnationality were not immediately clear, but police said they hadreceived no complaints about him before investigating thepregnancy.
The investigation was continuing. Smith would not give detailson the condition of the girl but said additional counts of rapecould be filed.
"The prosecutor is still considering doing that," he said.
Prosecutor Karl H. Lewies did not return telephone callsWednesday from The AP.
Child protection laws prohibit the Idaho Department of Healthand Welfare from confirming whether the agency was contacted aboutthe case, spokesman Tom Shanahan said.
"In a situation like that, we probably would be contacted bythe hospital," Shanahan said. "If there was a crime committed wewould be working with local law enforcement."
If the girl's home is found to be unsafe, a custody hearingwould be held immediately and the courts would decide where toplace her, Shanahan said.
"If they decide the child needs foster care, we would do thatimmediately," he said.
While a 10-year-old giving birth is highly unusual, it is notimpossible, said Laurie Krieger, a medical anthropologist inWashington D.C.
"We do know that girls in the U.S. are menstruating sooner," adevelopment which can speed up the production of sex hormones andmake pregnancy possible earlier than might have been thoughtlikely, Kreiger said.
Nutrition, body mass and other factors, including the fact thatchildren in the United States weigh more than in past generations,contribute to early menstruation, she added.