Judge indicts former Argentina governor of sexual abbuse

May 4, 2022 GMT

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A judge in Argentina on Wednesday indicted the former governor of the northern province of Tucumán, José Alperovich, for the alleged sexual abuse of his niece.

Judge Osvaldo Rappa issued the formal accusation against the former senator after analyzing testimony given in April by the young woman, whose identity was not made public, about the events that allegedly took place in 2017 and 2018.

During that hearing, Alperovich denied all charges.

Earlier, Alperovich, who was Tucumán governor for three terms between 2003 and 2015, had said on social media that the accusations were a way to exclude him from the political stage.

In the indictment, Rappa detailed nine instances of alleged sexual abuse by Alperovich against his niece, who was also the politician’s personal adviser in the Senate.

The indictment can be appealed and Alperovich will not be detained.

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Rappa detailed the alleged instances of abuse that took place in both Buenos Aires and Tucumán and said they were all aggravated by abuse of power and authority. The alleged abuse that the niece detailed to the courts reportedly began when she worked in the Tucumán provincial government.

Rappa said the alleged victim was “immersed in a context of intrafamily sexual abuse and gender-based harassment at work” and the events caused her “physical and psychological” damage.

The Tucumán chapter of the women’s rights group Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) celebrated the indictment as “an important advance in the fight for justice and against impunity.”

Alperovich requested an unpaid leave of absence from the Senate after the accusation emerged in 2019 and he did not run for reelection in November.