Alexandra Arce, the first of woman to file a denuncia – criminal complaint – for rape against former president and Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias said on Tuesday that she felt grateful for the outpouring of support since going public with her story.

Former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Oscar Arias Sanchez

“The most prevalent feeling is gratitude… to all the people who have believed in me,” said  Arce, in her first public statement since filing her denuncia in early February.

“I thought I was alone, but now I see I’m not,” she said outside a downtown San Jose courthouse following an appearance to provide information in the case.

Following Arce, at least eight other women have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the two-time president and 1987 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his role negotiating an end to civil wars in Central America.

Most of the women have not filed a criminal complaint, preferring to relate their stories to the national and international media, of their experiences with the former president, some dating back to more than 30 years ago.

Speaking through attorneys, Arias, 78, has denied Arce’s allegations and declined to comment on the allegations of the other women.

Arce, who is not seeking monetary damages, alleged that in 2014 Arias touched her breasts and put his hand under her clothes, introducing a finger in her vagina.

“As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen victims in my practice. Unfortunately, I was the one violated this time. I spent a long time feeling frustrated because there was nothing I could do,” she said.


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