January 16, 2021

The victim starts the trial for sexual abuse in Bilbao: "I tried to take my word" | Society

The victim starts the trial for sexual abuse in Bilbao: "I tried to take my word" | Society


"He forced me to lean on the table with my pants down and started pushing a pen through my anus." "Not at all, I did not touch him at all, neither him nor any other student." Accuser and accused have declared this Thursday on the first day of the trial that follows at the Audiencia of Bizkaia to clarify whether José María M., former teacher of the Gaztelueta College, located in Leioa (Vizcaya) and belonging to Opus Dei, sexually abused a school in charge of the courses 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, when the child was between 12 and 13 years old.

The victim starts the sexual abuse trial in Bilbao: "I tried to take my stand"

Image of the letter that the Pope sent to the family of the complainant.

The case, which will continue this Friday with the story of the victim's family, acquired relief when the Pope He asked to open a canonical trial in 2015 for alleged sexual abuse after analyzing the complaint that the former student made in 2013. But a few months later the Vatican informed the school that it closed the case after the internal investigation. The main conclusion was that "the facts have not been proven and, consequently, the good name and fame of the accused must be restored", without any other action being taken in relation to this person.

The professor has bluntly denied all the facts and the alumnus, who has declared protected behind a screen so as not to see his alleged aggressor, has confirmed the details of the abuses that the fiscal account includes. The prosecution asks for ten years in prison, the prosecution three and 40,000 euros fine, while the defense claims the free acquittal of his client.

The young man, sometimes with a choked voice, explained that the denounced teacher took him to his office, closed the blinds and the door, and sometimes he sat on his legs and sometimes forced him to masturbate. "I felt his erection," the complainant recalled with "shame and guilt." Another day he forced him to take off his pants and after supporting him on his table he "introduced pens for his anus". According to the testimony of the minor, the teacher, during sessions that used to last about 50 minutes, showed him pictures of naked girls and subjected him to touching.

Abuses that as described, sometimes with anguish, generated a delicate mental state. "I tried to kill myself," he said. As he said, the teacher ridiculed him in class and that caused his classmates to join the campaign, harassing him to the point that one day he tried to throw himself away from a moving car. Two ex-partners assumed that they were harassing him before the investigation that opened the Office of the Children's Prosecutor.

The student's statement lasted almost two hours and that of the teacher, 45 minutes. In his story, the teacher has denied everything and has drawn the student as a boy with problems and low academic performance. He explained that it was this situation that made him, with the permission of the management, turn to his training to improve his performance. That is to say, for that reason he was taking it to his office. "But it was exclusively an academic attention" he said after explaining that he closed the door of his office, but not the key, so that "anyone could have entered". "I've never done that, neither with him nor with any student", he replied, almost indignantly, when they asked him specifically about the touching on the thighs and genitals of the former student and in general for all kinds of abuses.

After the publication of the denunciation to the Pope in several media, the then senior prosecutor of the Basque Country, Juan Calparsoro, opened in January 2013 an investigation that he filed eight months later for the same reason. He did find in his final report that although there was no way to prove the accusations, the complainant's story "was consistent".

When the student's family decided to make the complaint public, in January 2013, he then sent a statement confirming the "personal tragedy" they were experiencing due to the "alleged harassment and sexual abuse" during his stay in Gaztelueta. They criticized the "at all times grotesque, intemperate and negligent attitude of the director" of the center, "unfit for a school that makes Christian values ​​its password".

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