Thursday 5 August 2021

Charges of rape and sexual abuse dismissed against former president Oscar Arias

Criminal Court of Pavas accepted a request from the Prosecutor's Office to exonerate the former president after the complainants dropped the charges

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QCOSTARICA – Former president, Óscar Arias Sánchez, was exonerated of all alleged rape and sexual abuse at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Publico) after the complainants dropped the charges.

Óscar Arias Sánchez (age 80 years) was President of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2010. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end the Central American crisis.

The resolution was issued on Monday, December 7, by judge Natalia Rodríguez Solís, of the Pavas Criminal Court, in San José

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The former president’s legal case began in February 2019, a doctor named Arce filed a criminal complaint for alleged violation, of events that occurred in December 2014 at the Arias home in Rohrmoser de Pavas, San José.

The second, for sexual abuse, was presented by the former beauty queen Yazmín Morales, for events that occurred in 2015, when the Arias invited her to his house, after sending her a Facebook message, with the pretext of giving her a book.

Arias testified on February 13, 2019, about these events before the Fiscalía de Género (Gender Prosecutor’s Office), on which occasion he handed over his two passports (regular and diplomatic) while denying the charges.

As part of the investigative actions, on June 11, 2019, officials from the JOrganismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), Fiscalía de Género, the respective attorneys, inspected the entrance, office and a room of the former president’s house located in Rohrmoser.

The objective was to visualize the areas in which the events allegedly occurred and to contrast them with the documented versions given by witnesses and the complainants.

However, on September 2, Ameliarueda.com announced that the women had withdrawn their complaints. The first was by Arce on July 24 and Morales on August 27.

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“The offended filed a revocation of the instance (…) revocation that was even signed jointly with the attorneys representing the complainants, which allows presuming that they were duly advised at all times of the consequences of the act, as well as that the Revocation was voluntary, which is specified in the signed and authenticated document.

“Once the instance is revoked by the complainants and in the case of a sexual crime, and the offended being of legal age, the appropriate thing is to accept the revocation of instance, consider the criminal action against the accused as extinct, and order the dismissal definitive in their favor,” stated the resolution.

Due to these complaints, in February 2019, Arias decided to temporarily withdraw from the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) while his legal situation was clarified.

This Thursday, December 10, the leadership of the PLN asked the former president to return, and soon, to political activity, citing “there are reasons, linked to the present and future” of the country that merit his return to political activity.

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