Sunday 7 March 2021

Photographer accused of raping and filming minor girls pleads guilty

The accused opted for an abbreviated process that suspends the public trial and will be sentenced in a private hearing. In total, the OIJ identified 26 victims between the ages of 10 and 15.

A photographer, identified by his last names Núñez Romero, requested a special abbreviated process and accepting guilt for being part of a child pornography network that operated in Costa Rica between 2009 and 2017.

Archive photo fo a criminal trial courtroom in Costa Rica.

With the request by the accused, the open trial that had been scheduled for later this month was suspended. A private hearing will be held where the guilty plea will be entered and sentence defined.

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The man was charged with the trafficking in persons, rape, and production of child pornography against 26 girls who dreamed of becoming professional models.

The victims lived in vulnerable areas of the country and according to reports from the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), the material was sold abroad, in countries such as Mexico and Brazil.

In July 2019, another defendant – considered a partner of Núñez Romero – pleaded guilty in an abbreviated proceeding for which he was sentenced to 797 years in prison which, due to the rules of process, he will actually only spend 39 years behind bars.

Frustrated dreams

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The OIJ said the victims (minors) were between 10 and 15 years old. Most were recruited in vulnerable areas and deceived with the illusion of becoming international models.

“The videos could only be seen in countries in North America, Europe, and Asia, so the research was extremely complicated, so he had to resort to technological tools to obtain the evidence,” said Walter Espinoza, head of the Judicial Police.

Naked photos and videos of the minors were taken while the parents waited in a separate room. Allegedly the parents had signed permits that allowed the naked photos.

According to the investigation, up to 26 minors were seduced and were also raped. Apparently, the accused carried out casting sessions, where they chose the victims and then, under threat, forced them to have sexual relations.

 

 

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FACT CHECK:
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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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