April 10, 2021

Another five Salesian alumni denounce Don Chemi for abuse in Deusto | Society

Another five Salesian alumni denounce Don Chemi for abuse in Deusto | Society

The denunciations against the ex-Salesian José Miguel San Martín, known as Don Chemi, continue to increase after published at the beginning of the year alleged crimes of abuse and mistreatment of children between eight and 10 years of age in the decade of the eighties in the Salesian College of Deusto (Bilbao). Javier Prieto is one of the five alumni who, after reading the news in the media, have joined to denounce before the civil authorities. He did it yesterday Monday. He does not mind showing his face and his name comes out in public. His goal, he says, is that "more victims" denounce and society knows "who is really Don Chemi".

The events reported occurred during the course of 1983 to 1984, when Prieto was in the 5th grade of the EGB. At that time, San Martin was his tutor and head of studies. The abuses, already prescribed, are very similar to those that, up to now, a dozen alumni have told this newspaper. "He took me to the cleaning room and there he touched me and he kissed me, it happened more than a dozen times", says the alleged victim. So far, 12 students have denounced San Martin for touching, kissing, rape and physical abuse.

The Salesian Order, which last Saturday asked for forgiveness and announced that it was investigating what happened, has assured that it has no record of complaints or denunciations against San Martin in the past. The defendant entered the order in 1975 and left in 1990. On the other hand, two of the 11 alleged victims who have come to light have said that they told what happened to their parents and that the AMPA went to speak with the director of the center. San Martin denied this newspaper the facts, although he said that during his stay as a teacher he met a similar case of another Salesian companion "that was nothing." "I did not do anything, there are things you can do that are misinterpreted," he said in a telephone interview with the newspaper.

After his departure from the order, San Martín has continued to participate in summer camps and has worked as a monitor and, sometimes, as director of the same. Until last week, his CV appeared on the Aldekoa Group page as a collaborator. The leisure activities company denied any employment relationship with him and was aware of these accusations. "He's a nice person and a great professional, I've always wanted him to collaborate with us, but it's never been possible," said company director Santiago Aldekoa. After these conversations, the profile of San Martin was erased from the web, according to the company, "until a judge decides if he is guilty".

One of the reasons that have motivated all the alleged victims to testify, as stated in their complaints, is that the justice system look for more cases of abuse in the camps where the defendant has worked. All political groups represented in Bilbao City Council (PNV, EHBILDU, PSE, PP, UDALBERRI and GOAZEN) They showed their support to the victims on Monday and urged the "competent institutions" to investigate these complaints. The group of denouncers will focus on Deusto on Friday in support of the victims of abuse in the Salesians. Prieto never told what happened at home. "Don Chemi was Don Chemi, he was a very dear person in the center," he says. Sexual assaults have not affected her in her life, although reading the news of those most affected has reminded her of the past in the Salesian school.

If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to [email protected]


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