“I’m not the one who had to avoid it. He was the one who had to not do it “said Thelma Fardin, when she finished testifying – virtually – for four hours in the first hearing of the oral trial that is being carried out in Brazil against Juan Darthés for aggravated rape, a crime that has penalties of 8 to 12 years in the penal code of the neighboring country. It is an emblematic case: Fardin’s complaint, accompanied by the collective of Argentine Actresses, marked a before and after in the fight against sexual violence in Argentina, by encouraging other victims of this crime to break the silence and tell their stories and at the same time shook the world of the audiovisual industry in the country. “I told him no, no and he continued,” he repeated, more words, fewer words, in his statement about the moment when the actor, who was then 45 years old, pounced on her body and sexually assaulted her, in her room in a hotel in Managua, in 2009, when she was a 16-year-old teenager, on the last night of a tour of Central America in which the two participated as part of the cast of the infantile youth strip Ugly Duckling which aired on Channel 13. After recounting the events he denounced on December 4, 2018 in Nicaragua, the defense subjected her to a revictimizing interrogation with questions that aimed to cast doubt on the veracity of her words.
At 8:42 p.m., Fardin left the Special Prosecutor’s Unit on Violence against Women (UFEM) of the Attorney General’s Office, which specially set up a courtroom, and spoke briefly with the media that were waiting for her. She looked tired, moved. “I am exhausted, it was a very long day, I spent all these hours declaring, answering all the questions. I am exhausted but I am proud to have come this far, to have achieved it and that this day has passed, “she said. “It was four hours of declaration. I do not want to say anything about my statement because I want to respect that request for secrecy requested by the judge and not commit any prejudice to move this case forward. They asked me questions and I answered them all, ”he added.
“This trial has international significance. There was a very good coordination of three public ministries and the persecution of an abuser in three different countries”, He highlighted in dialogue with Page 12 the lawyer Raquel Hermida Leyenda, legal representative of the actresses Anita Coacci and Calu Rivero, two of the witnesses cited in this trial.
Despite the fact that Darthés initially said in 2018 – in an interview with the journalist Mauro Viale – that it was he who rejected a hint from Fardin During that trip, then the defense strategy headed by Fernando Burlando aimed to build the false idea of a consensual sexual relationship.
Due to the length of Fardin’s statement, the witnesses who were summoned could not testify at the first hearing and their statement was rescheduled for this Wednesday. And those people who were summoned for the second hearing will be summoned again on a date not yet determined, with the exception of the actress Calu “Dignity” Rivero, who will give her testimony this Wednesday from the Argentine Consulate in Rome starting at 2:00 p.m.
With these changes, the completion of the trial will take longer than expected and the sentence could only be in January or February.
The other actress who will testify but it is not known when is Anita Coacci. She and Calu Rivero told Fardin before having experienced abusive situations on the part of Darthés during recordings of television programs. This year Coacci won the actor a trial in which Darthés accused her of insults.
“I have hope. I need a ruling in favor of the truth, of justice. If you rape a person, you have to serve a sentence. In addition, the right to speak is at stake, that we can denounce without being fired from work, “he told Page 12 Anita Co, who was received with loud applause from her colleagues when she arrived at the door of the UFEM to accompany Thelma. The collective Actrices Argentinas carried out an action against the abuse at the door of the prosecution and several of its members, including Dolores Fonzi, Muriel Santa Ana and Alejandra Flechner, read a lengthy document and demanded that there be “a conclusive ruling” (see separate).
The start of the oral trial, which is being carried out by the federal criminal judge of room 7 of the San Pablo judicial jurisdiction, Pablo Ali Mazloum, was scheduled for 2. But the defense made a series of proposals, with the intention of putting obstacles in the way. All were rejected.
It was just after 4:00 pm that Fardin could begin to give his testimony. As will most of the witnesses, the actress declared virtually from the UFEM, that she plays an exclusively collaborative role with the Brazilian justice system. Rivero had planned to testify from the Argentine consulate in Rome.
11 witnesses are summoned, including people who were at the scene when the denounced events occurred, the psychologist who treated Thelma from her 19 years to last year, the psychiatrist who made an expert opinion on her part, several women who do not want her to your identity is revealed. After the last one, the judge will ask Darthés if he wants to speak. You can refuse.
Hearings are not public because in Brazil trials for crimes against sexual integrity have this characteristic to protect the privacy of the victims. The hearing on Tuesday was limited to the defense, the complaint and the accusation.
Officials from the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity of the Nation expressed their support for the actress and presented a letter to the Brazilian court to be able to witness the hearing, but the request was rejected. The Secretary for Policies Against Gender-Based Violence, Josefina Kelly Neila, along with the Undersecretary of Comprehensive Approach to Gender-Based Violence, Laurana Malacalza and the Undersecretary of Special Programs Against Violence for Reasons were present at UFEM. of Gender, Carolina Varsky.
“It was really good for me to go to the prosecution. It filled me with strength to testify, “Coacci told this newspaper, before knowing that his summons would be postponed. The actress published on her Facebook account in February 2018 – ten months before Fardín made the criminal complaint – a specific episode with the actor, with whom she shared the cast of the strip Diesel of Channel 13 –between 1998 and 1999-: “At one stop of the recording I was chatting in a dressing room with JD, whom I had known since I was a teenager and I told him that when I was a girl and my old man directed a comedy in which he sang I always listened to a song that I loved how I sang it. Moment in which the man slides with the chair that had wheels and throws himself on me, stands up and throws me against the wall, kisses me, sticks his tongue in me , he grabs my hand and makes me touch his sex, while he says “Look how you make me.” I was frozen and unable to react. In seconds one of the dressing room girls entered and he immediately separated and I left. The days Following recording he chased me. I finished recording and I never saw him again. I knew that while this happened his wife was pregnant and that added more disgust to me. ” Darthés sued him for libel, for which Co was dismissed. Calu Rivero also said that he had suffered harassment by Darthés during the recordings of the strip Sweet love. The actor sued her in the civil jurisdiction for a million pesos in a trial that is underway.
The case for which Darthés came to trial began in Nicaragua. By the principle of territoriality – which is the guiding principle in almost all countries – crimes are investigated where they occurred. In that Central American country, the specialized unit and the court that intervened understood that there were sufficient elements to take the case to trial and when they summoned Darthés to appear in court, he did not. In fact, he traveled and took refuge in Brazil. The Nicaraguan justice requested his extradition but Brazil, unlike almost all countries, does not have the principle of territoriality, but of nationality, which means that it assumes jurisdiction for all crimes committed by its nationals and Darthés has Brazilian nationality. So what did Brazil do, instead of following the extradition process? was to start a new case, taking his competence for granted. With the intervention of the UFEM from Argentina, the preliminary evidence already produced was turned over and the prosecution in Brazil understood that there was enough entity to accuse, accused, presented the case before a federal court and this summoned a trial.
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Thelma Fardin: “I’m exhausted but I’m proud to have made it here” | First day of the trial against Juan Darthés for sexual abuse