By Dave Andrusko
A former Rapid City man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of giving his pregnant girlfriend Blue Cohosh, a herb known to induce labor or abortion in early term pregnancies, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Alfredo L. Vargas was extradited from Puerto Rico to face attempted fetal homicide charges. If convicted, Vargas faces a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Pennington County chief deputy state’s attorney Lara Roetzel said Vargas gave his girlfriend the herb from January to May of 2010. “She became suspicious and contacted law enforcement,” Roetzel said. Fortunately the baby was born healthy.
According to the newspaper, “Roetzel said this is the first case prosecutors can recall where an attempt was made to harm an unborn child in this manner.”
“Typically, we see a domestic violence case where the defendant will hurt the mother in an attempt to hurt the baby,” she said.
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