By Cordell Whitlock
(KSDK) - Police in Arkansas say a Granite City abortion clinic is part of a rape investigation involving a juvenile. Jeffery Cheshier, 41, is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. Officers say he then forced the victim to have an abortion in Granite City.
Police in Bryant, Ark., say Cheshier began assaulting the juvenile last year. In October, he was arrested and charged with rape. The victim told police Cheshier had gotten her pregnant and forced her to have an abortion.
According to records obtained by Bryant police, the abortion was performed at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City. Angela Michael frequently protests outside the clinic and police used a photo she took of Cheshier's car to prove he was there in March.
The clinic's executive director, Sally Burgess, says she knows nothing about this particular case but says there are safeguards in place to protect juveniles.
"Anytime a teenager lets on to us that she's in any sort of jeopardy, we are going to do what's in her best interest and that's report it to the authorities," said Burgess.
Apparently that didn't happen in this case. Michael says someone at the clinic dropped the ball.
"If they are trained to ask questions, they need to be asking the right ones," Michael said. "They need to be protecting these young girls."
Police in Bryant say in light of what happened to the alleged victim, questions need to be asked.
"Even as officers, we see a lot of stuff but this is very disturbing to us," said Sergeant Harold Edmonson. "I've been in law enforcement 20 years and this is a first for me. We need to make some stricter laws on this."
In Illinois, juveniles do not need parental consent for an abortion. When we asked the Madison County State's Attorney's Office if clinics are required to notify police when a juvenile has an abortion, we were referred to the Hope Clinic who told us such notification is not mandatory.