Emilia Navas, Costa Rica’s Attorney General (Fiscal General), said that the accusations of rape and sexual abuse against former president Oscar Arias will be investigated “like any other case.”
“It is a matter of a delicate type of crime and, out of respect for the victims and by law, I cannot mention anything about the merits,” Navas said Tuesday afternoon.
The Fiscalía de Género del Ministerio Público (Public Prosecutor’s Office of Gender) is investigating two criminal complaints against the former president.
First, Arias was denounced for rape on February 4 by the doctor and anti-nuclear activist Alexandra Arce von Herold, the incident occurring on December 1, 2014, at the former president’s house, where she went to hand over documents about an anti-nuclear campaign, as reported by the Semanario Universidad on February 5.
A second complaint for the crime of sexual abuse was filed, on February 7, by the former Miss Costa Rica, Yazmín Morales, who said that the abuse would have occurred in 2015 when the former president invited her to his home with the excuse of giving her a book.
On Tuesday Morales request protection against harassment and threats she says were received after filing the denuncia against Arias.
Arias has reacted on the first complaint, on February 5, with the following statement:
“With respect to the information published today (Tuesday), I must say that I categorically reject the accusations that are made to me. I have never acted disrespecting the will of any woman, even less in the case of her freedom.”
Navas also explained that there is no estimate of the duration of the investigations and, at the same time, explained the particularity of the case.
“In these cases, there is no evidence to assess. Thus, the complaint of the victim is reviewed, witnesses are interviewed, analyzed and, if warranted then the investigation is carried out”, said Navas.
In addition to the denuncias (criminal complaints) filed by Arce and Morales, five more women reported having being victims of sexual harassment by the former president, between the 80s and 2013.
The five complaints are allegations but have not yet been charged.
The latest case is that of Carina Black, 52, a political scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno. Black told the New York Times on Sunday that Arias tried to kiss her when entering an elevator in 1998.
On February 5, Costa Rican journalist Nono Antillón also reported that Oscar Arias had sexually abused her when she worked with him in 1986.
Emma Daly, a journalist who directs communications of the NGO Human Rights Watch, told the Washington Post that the former president touched her breasts when she was a reporter for the Tico Times, in 1990.
In addition, the editor Marta Araya Marroni, 52, denounced on February 6 in the Tico Times, which in 2012 she faced “multiple unwanted sexual advances” from Arias, the year Marroni worked for the former president in the reissue of his book Con Velas, Timón y Brújula.
That same day, Mónica Morales, a journalist for the Perfil Magazine, published an article in which she recounts the “mala experiencia” (bad experience) that she lived in 2013, when, as she recalled, the former president suggested that she sit on his lap.