1684023995 Brazilian judiciary acquitted actor Juan Darthes in the rape case

Brazilian judiciary acquitted actor Juan Darthés in the rape case against Thelma Fardin

The Brazilian judiciary has acquitted the Argentine actor Juan Darthés in the case of the rape of his former colleague Thelma Fardín. The verdict, released by Darthés’ defense on Saturday, said that “there are doubts as to whether or not the carnal conjunction took place” and that doubts have led the court to rule in favor of the accused. The verdict was sharply criticized by Fardin and his lawyers, who had announced they would appeal.

The alleged facts came to light in 2018. At the end of the year, Fardin publicly accused Darthés of raping her during a 2009 theater tour in Nicaragua. She was 16 years old; He, 45. Months earlier, three other actresses – Calu Rivero, Natalia Juncos and Ana Coacci – had reported sexual harassment to the actor, known for his starring roles on television. However, even Fardin’s testimony cast doubt on the victims’ credibility, and Darthés not only denied everything, but countered with a lawsuit for damages against Rivero.

Fardin’s denunciation triggered an earthquake. She encouraged hundreds of victims to tell for the first time abuses that had silenced them for years, and the actress became a symbol of the fight against sexual violence in Argentina. After trying to bring him to justice in Argentina and Nicaragua, Fardin managed to bring Darthés to justice in Brazil, his country of birth and where he moved after the allegation.

Darthés’ lawyer Fernando Burlando celebrated the acquittal. “The evidence suggests that the complaint against Juan is contradictory. You disagree with what Thelma said. If that were the case, the result would have been different,” the media lawyer told the media. Burlando suggested that Darthés could take legal action against those who “said things that weren’t true.”

Hours later, Fardin, accompanied by her lawyers and a group of Argentine actresses, appeared at a press conference at Amnesty International’s offices in Buenos Aires. “I’m tired but they won’t break me,” Fardin said, before confirming she will appeal the verdict, which she hopes will be overturned in the second instance. “Of course, the judiciary will be the last bastion of a historically violent and patriarchal system. I would ask all the people who have dared to break the silence and speak out after this 2018 conference not to feel like they are being indoctrinated by it. You’re not indoctrinating me, please don’t indoctrinate the people who are going through this,” Fardin said.

The actress’ lawyer, Carla Junqueira, clarified that the verdict did not declare Darthés innocent. “The verdict was very clear in interpreting the facts and evidence and considering that the acts of sexual violence were involved. If the event had taken place after 2010, the applicable law would be different,” he said. In 2009, the Brazilian Penal Code required evidence of carnal contact, i.e., evidence of penetration, for the crime of rape. The reform of the code carried out the following year “ceased these requirements,” Junqueira explained. Since the rape is not considered proven, the other acts of sexual abuse are considered prescribed with lesser penalties.

“We will appeal this decision, we are optimistic. There is no sense of defeat as this decision is a conservative decision that is not in line with the jurisprudence of the Brazilian Supreme Court,” the lawyer added.

Thelma Fardin during a protest rally in front of the Brazilian embassy in Buenos Aires in 2022.Thelma Fardin during a protest in front of the Brazilian embassy in Buenos Aires in 2022. JUAN MABROMATA (AFP)

“The verdict itself says that much of the sexual abuse is proven, it’s proven that he performed oral sex on me and that there was finger penetration, but as in 2009 it’s mandatory.” If it’s im If it had occurred in 2010, it would not be prescribed. “You have to make a choice when you’re going to be abused,” Fardin said wryly.

The visibly moved actress thanked the support of Argentine society and expressed confidence that the fight had not been in vain. “The shift in women’s relationships with men, the shift in not just women but men and their prominence is a battle we’ve won,” she affirmed.

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