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  HOME | Central America

Three Women Accuse Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias of Sexual Misconduct

SAN JOSE – Two more women have claimed that they suffered sexual abuse by former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who already faces one accusation of sexual assault for an alleged 2014 incident.

The cases revealed in recent hours are those of Costa Rican journalist Nono Antillon, whose public testimony was reported by the daily La Nacion, and Emma Daly, communications director for Human Rights Watch, who made her complaint in The Washington Post.

Daly told The Washington Post that in 1990, in a Managua hotel, she approached the politician to ask him a question and instead of responding Arias touched her breasts and said to her: “You’re not wearing a bra.”

The woman, who at that time was working as a reporter, confirmed her claim on Twitter and commented in the article that she never filed a formal complaint against Arias because she felt that, during that period of time, that type of behavior was common in Central America.

The third complaint that has come to light was made by Antillon, who said that the incident occurred in 1986, when she was 25 and working as Arias’s press adviser on his presidential campaign that year.

“I was seated in front of his desk and he approached me, took my hand and put it on his penis, which was erect. I pushed him and stood up and he pushed me. He grabbed my shoulders, threw me against a wardrobe and began to fondle me,” Antillon told La Nacion.

She said that from then on she refused to be alone with Arias, who won the election and in 1987 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for being the author of the Central American Peace Plan.

With these two most recent testimonies, three women have now claimed that they were victims of Costa Rica’s most prominent politician, who served a second presidential term in 2006-2010.

The first to accuse him was a psychiatrist and nuclear disarmament activist, on Monday complaining to the Costa Rican Attorney General’s Office that Arias had assaulted her in December 2014 when she met with him to seek his support for that cause.

The case was revealed on Tuesday by Costa Rica’s Semanario Universidad newspaper, which in its reporting included excerpts of the complaint and an interview with the women, Dr. Alexandra Arce von Herold.

The complaint filed by the woman, who at the time of the incident was 30, states that Arias came up behind her, touched her breasts, kissed her and penetrated her vagina with his fingers, despite the fact that she asked him to stop.

According to the complaint, Arias left the office in which they were for a moment, whereupon she took advantage of the situation to leave.

 

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