June 19, 2021

"The priest who raped me was a predator, a child hunter" | Society

"The priest who raped me was a predator, a child hunter" | Society


The tourist guide Fernando García-Salmones and the professor Enrique Sacristán drag the same past. Both studied in 1975 in the Claret school of Madrid. And both were violated -according to EL PAÍS- by the same priest, J. P. V., a charismatic priest who was then in his fifties and who died in October 2009 after receiving a tribute from his former students.

When the priest became "tired" of García-Salmones, he began to "extort" Sacristán. "He was a depraved, a child hunter," ditch the first, who has spent six of his 57 years in a therapy to combat the shock

The Claretians They learned about the adventures of J. P. V. two decades later, according to the first time that Miguel Ángel Velasco was responsible for the order in Madrid between 2004 and 2006. The priest, however, was not expelled from the congregation and exhausted his pastoral life in the parish of Nuestra Señora del Espino in Madrid.

"I told him not to approach children and teenagers. Only officiated masses, "Velasco justifies. "We watch him. I was on top of him. I had a very serious talk and he told me that he agreed with his new situation [mantenerse alejado de menores]", Add.

The Claretian leader does not clarify how he managed to remove the pastor from the minors in a parish where there are children and adolescents. And he acknowledges that he did not consider reporting the episode, even if he did, he would have fallen on deaf ears: the crime of sexual abuse of minors prescribes at age 15 and had already passed more than 20.

After leaving the Claret, J. P. V. landed at the Jaime del Amo high school in Madrid, according to Velasco, who today coordinates the missionaries of this movement religious.

To understand this history we must go back to 1975. Fernando García-Salmones is 14 years old, has eight brothers and belongs to a well-off family that runs three coffee shops in Madrid. Together with his twin, he disembarks at Claret school. Unlike the rest of the kids, he does not play football. And he remains alone in the yard until seven o'clock in the afternoon. The picture soon attracts the eyes of the religion teacher, a teacher who, according to the victim, presented himself to his students as a guardian of orthodoxy.

"I went to therapy for fear of becoming a predator," acknowledges one victim

"A rainy afternoon came to the patio for me. He offered to dry me in his room. It was an austere room in an area where he resided with other priests. He started to touch me while he asked me why I was alone, "recalls García-Salmones.

That day of 1975 started a ritual that -according to the attacked one- lasted almost two years. "The priest used me as if I were a prostitute. I came, I undressed, I raped and I was dispatched. See every day a child entering and leaving the priest's room did not arouse suspicion in other priests? "Asks this graduate in Fine Arts.

García-Salmones recognizes that he hid the sequence from family and friends. And that the clergyman threatened to tell his parents what happened three times a week in his tiny room. "One day, J. P. V forced me to have sex with another priest. Before, he gave me a slap, "he tells of a meeting that recalls" brief "and where he had to clean the room and make the bed where he was raped.

"I had to clean the room and make the bed where I had been raped," says García-Salmones

The victim reproaches the behavior of his family. "How could it be that my mother never suspected anything? Her son came home with bloody underwear …", he adds, adding: "Is it normal for my brother and his wife to participate in a tribute to the priest after knowing what made me?".

García-Salmones connects the family's reluctance with the omnipotent power of his executioner. A priest connected with a high Francoist position that appears in the chronicles of the time flanked by admirals and chiefs of the Navy. The parish priest officiated at weddings attended by the council of ministers of the entire dictatorship.

The ghost of transforming into a predator, of reproducing in others what they did to him, tormented this victim for decades. "I went to therapy so I would not become a predator. I was afraid that the abused would become an abuser. I've never dealt with minors, "ditch.

Eight years after leaving school, García-Salmones sent a letter to his director. Ensures that he did not receive a response or calls. And that, when he decided to fight the battle in the courts, in 1995, the crime had already prescribed.

Rape, invisible in confession

The release of García-Salmones arrived in 1977. It was then that the priest who anguished him noticed another student, Enrique Sacristán.

At the age of 15, Sacristán received an afternoon call from his religion teacher, J. P. V. The pastor chose him among the flock to finalize the preparations for a mass. "He had idolized that priest. It was like the representation of God on earth, "explains the 56-year-old former finance official who earns his living teaching Spanish on the net from his home in Oliva (Valencia, 25,448 inhabitants).

Sacristan relates that the priest gave him the keys to his room on the same day that the abuses began. Sex with the cleric lasted until the victim turned 18. "The day I went to tell him that he could not take it anymore he took it very badly. I think I caused him a trauma. "

While the aggressions lasted, the priest confessed his victim. "I imposed the prayer when I told him that I had masturbated and ignored the abuses to which I was subjected," comments annoyed.

Two decades later, with the prescribed crime, Sacristán approached the priest in a central street in Madrid. "He reacted as if nothing had ever happened," recalls this teacher who also recorded the aggressions in a children's newspaper.

Sacristán also sent a letter to the magazine in 2005 Zero where he presented himself as a victim. Without detailing the name of the order, the school and the identity of the priest who stole his innocence, he denounced the child's loneliness in the face of the "voracity" of the executioner. The teacher forwarded the letter to his attacker and to two representatives of the congregation. He did not receive an answer

The coordinator of the Claretian schools of Madrid, Basilio Álvarez, wields that the congregation handles a protocol that contemplates the denunciation to the Office of the Prosecutor. And he says he does not know the case of the Claret School of the priest J. P. V. His brother, Father Velasco, today high in the order, learned about the matter fifteen years ago.

If you know of any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to abusos@elpais.es

Hunting vulnerable prey

"He knew very well who he could hunt, what was the family environment and the problems of each kid." The tourist guide Fernando García-Salmones assures that the priest J. P .V. He tracked his future prisoners with zeal in the courtyard of Claret College. He had, he says, a predilection for the weak. "I was a kid who did not play football, lonely and that caught his attention," he explains. The assaulted believes that the abuses of this cleric "nice, irascible and bossy" deprived him of innocence, and that this caused "lack of security and low self-esteem."

The hunting tactics of the religious, a popular cleric among the students for presiding in his day the alumni association, also subscribes his other victim, Enrique Sacristán. "When I taught the priest my diary and learned about my problems, he rubbed his paws", recalls this teacher who, together with García-Salmones, agrees to define the pastor who tormented him between 1975 and 1978 as "a predator".

García-Salmones y Sacristán communicated separately with this newspaper to denounce the case of J. P. V. They agree that they are not the only victims.

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