The oral trial began against José Alperovich, the former senator and former governor of Tucumán accused of having sexually abused his niece when she was his assistant in the Senate of the Nation. At the beginning of the procedure, the accused declared: “I want the truth because this killed me.”
The debate takes place from 10 in the morning, in the hearing room of the Oral Criminal Court No. 29, led by Judge Juan María Ramos Padilla, and at least 80 witnesses are expected to testify. If found guilty, he could receive a sentence of 15 years in prison.
Read also: The trial against former senator José Alperovich begins: he is accused of having sexually abused his niece
Upon arriving at the venue, accompanied by his four children, Alperovich assured that he was going to testify and told TN: “The test is going to tell the truth.”
Once the hearing began, he said: “With all the respect I have for the Judiciary because I comply with Justice and I want the truth, I ask you to pay attention to the evidence.”
“On the advice of my lawyers, they ask that I testify later. “I know everyone will say the same thing, but I am 68 years old, I have eleven grandchildren, four children, I want the truth because this killed me,” she added.
What are the crimes that former senator José Alperovich is accused of?
Alperovich is being tried for six cases of sexual violence aggravated by carnal access, and for having committed at least three acts of sexual abuse, two of them attempted. This arises from the judicial investigation that began in 2019, when the young woman decided to make the complaint.
“To report was to free myself. Today I celebrate and recognize in this difficult process the well-being and improvement that I experience every day and they confirm that silence is no longer a life option for me,” said the girl, who is now 33 years old, in a statement.
The details of the complaint against Alperovich to which TN had access. (Photo: José Inesta, from Tucumán)
According to the file, the attacks would have occurred between 2017 and 2018, in the city of Buenos Aires and in the province of Tucumán. Her niece, whose identity will be protected, stated that everything happened while she was working as Alperovich's assistant in the National Senate.
The girl explained that the alleged abuses occurred in Tucumán and in an apartment in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Puerto Madero. After an investigation that took five years, the prosecutor's office considered that “in all cases, mediating intimidation for his commission,” the former senator “abused a relationship of dependency, power and authority.”
Read also: José Alperovich: the evidence that complicates it and the reaction of his lawyer
The National Criminal and Correctional Prosecutor's Office No. 10 of the Federal Capital, temporarily headed by prosecutor Santiago Vismara, and the Specialized Prosecutorial Unit for Violence against Women (UFEM), led by Mariela Labozzetta, intervened in the investigation.
The evidence they considered against Alperovich was the psychological expertise, but above all the statements of the victim's gynecologist. The doctor confirmed the complainant's statements, since she treated the victim on six occasions. In her testimony, she revealed the vaginal injuries that she discovered during a consultation in 2018, a date coinciding with the most violent event reported by the niece of the former governor of Tucumán.
According to the documentation in the file, the complainant told him months later that those injuries were the product of sexual abuse caused by someone in her family and work environment. Specifically, the professional claims, the young woman told her that the attacker was her boss.
José Alperovich is accused of several acts of sexual abuse. (Photo: Courtesy of El Tucumano)
“It was proven how the accused, using his physical force, exercising intimidating abuse of power and gender violence, reduced the victim under his control, and made her a mere object of sexual satisfaction, of objectification, subjecting her in a violent, outrageous manner. and degrading, doing so over the course of a little more than three months,” said the prosecutor.
In 2022, Judge Osvaldo Rappa prosecuted Alperovich for the reported crimes and considered that they were committed “through abuse of power and authority.” Rappa highlighted in his indictment that the victim suffered “outrageous sexual submission.”
“It is enough to simply say that the person for whom he worked was not a stranger to the victim, but a public person with political power that he held in the province of Tucumán after having been governor for three consecutive terms and a member of his family, even if it was far away,” added the judge.
In his investigation before the magistrate, Alperovich denied having abused his niece and did not accept questions. In that sense, the defense of the accused alleged that it was a “false complaint orchestrated to end his political career” and that the complainant was instrumentalized by other people.
In principle, the case was processed in the Tucumán justice system. But, after a resolution by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation in May of last year, it was resolved that all the facts should be investigated in Buenos Aires, in accordance with what was stated in his opinion by the acting Attorney General, Eduardo Casal. In this way, in September 2023, the National Criminal and Correctional Court No. 35 elevated the case to an oral trial.
Starting this Monday, there will be one hearing per week and, given the large number of witnesses and the time of Justice, the process would extend until June, in principle. As TN learned, the hearings will be closed to the press and the general public, since it is a case of sexual abuse. Only the opening, closing and sentencing statements will be accessible.
This decision comes, on the one hand, at the request of lawyer Ricardo Santoro, a member of the complaint, to protect the integrity of the victim. On the other hand, the trial prosecutor justified that the evidence that is going to be aired in the debate could affect the process if it is publicly disseminated.