A man took an 11-year-old girl to hospital only to flee when doctors figured out she was pregnant with his child, it is alleged.
Wendell Sanchez, 34, allegedly dropped off the child at an emergency room in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday after she complained of pains in her stomach.
He is accused of waited in his car outside while she was examined by hospital staff who quickly realised the young girl was pregnant, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Allison Hudson told local media.
After investigating further, the concerned staff came to suspect Sanchez was the father of her child, and alerted the Gonzalez Police Department to the alleged rapist’s location.
When officers arrived on the scene it alleged Sanchez took off on foot, abandoning his car and running to a nearby apartment complex.
Police gave chase and found the man cowering on a patio. They say he was carrying illegal narcotics, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on his person.
He was arrested and booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on a raft of felony charges including first-degree rape with a victim under the age of 13, criminal trespass, illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of person under 17, resisting an officer and various other drug, property and traffic counts.
His bond has been set at $340,000 (£260,000).
Louisiana’s age of consent is 17, in keeping with most states where the age ranges from 16 to 18.
Under Louisiana’s statutory rape laws, if the defendant is more than four years older than the victim, or if it is the defendant’s second (or subsequent) conviction, then the crime automatically turns from a misdemeanour to a felony.
It’s unclear how Sanchez came to know the young girl or if the two are related.