BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — May 18, 2015, 5:40 PM ET [1 Comment]
Two Argentine judges are under fire for reducing the sentence of a convicted child abuser on the grounds that his 6-year-old victim had suffered earlier abuse and therefore had already been traumatized.
In the newly publicized 2014 ruling, the judges cut the sentence of Mario Tolosa, a sports club vice president, from six years to 38 months. They ruled that his acts should not be considered "gravely outrageous" in legal terms because the boy already "was making a precocious choice" of his sexuality, apparently a reference to homosexuality.
Other attorneys criticized the decision and the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans has demanded the judges be removed from the bench for a ruling it said placed a 6-year-old victim "in the position of a suspect."
One of the two judges, Horacio Piombo, defended the ruling Monday in interviews with Radio La Red and the television station Todo Noticias, saying that before Tolosa molested him, the child already had suffered "the initiation by his father into the worst of worlds, leading him to depravation."
He said that "as a result of that experience with the father, the child had showed "signs of a transvestite conduct, of conduct we had to take into account."
Piombo said the nearly year-old ruling had been leaked in an attempt to discredit him and his colleague Benjamin Ramon Sal Llargues. He said the boy's father had been jailed by another court but had not been sentenced, and the child's mother abandoned him.
The family of the child said it will appeal the ruling before the Supreme Court.
"He raped a child and they say he's innocent because the child is gay," a woman who identified herself as the aunt told reporters. Local media have not disclosed the father's or the family's identity to protect the child.
The case dominated the news in Argentina on Monday, with people and politicians taking on social media to discuss it.
Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo, who is running for the presidency, said via Twitter that the ruling was "an embarrassment."
"It's repugnant to say that the presumed sexual orientation of an abused six-year-old boy is a reason to reduce the sentence of the abuser."