Don’t Protect that Monster
The president of [the human rights organization] Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo denounced to the Attorney General, María del Carmen Falbo, that judges and lawyers got rid of evidence in order to favor the priest. Also, she asked Bergoglio to “take measures against this evil person.”
By Miguel Jorquera
June 9, 2006
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
"I’m calling so that this pervert can’t continue victimizing more children,” said Estela de Carlotto, yesterday after leaving a meeting with the Attorney General of the Supreme Court of Buenos Aires, Maria del Carmen Falbo, in La Plata. The statement of Carlotto had a clear target: Julio César Grassi.
The President of the Committee for the Monitoring and Application of the International Convention of the Rights of Children and Adolescents came to denounce serious irregularities in the proceedings that on July 3 will put Father Grassi on the Justice bench for “abuse and and perversion of minors, compounded by his position as priest and guardian.” Carlotto’s denouncements range from "bias of the Court" to concessions that the Attorney General gave the accused, and dismissal of evidence and testimony -- at the request of the defense -- that benefit the judicial situation facing Grassi. Carlotto's calling was also directed at the Catholic Church and, specifically, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
“It pains me as an Argentine, as a grandmother, and as a woman, the situation of impunity that this character Grassi benefits from. I’m calling on the Justices so that this pervert cannot continue victimizing more children in his life, that he pays for the crimes he committed, crimes that in many instances are irreversible. The Justices have got to be fair, simple as that,” said the President of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo to the press at the end of the meeting.
In addition to referencing the judicial matter, Carlotto pointed to the institution that represents Grassi. “I’m calling on the Church, because I am Catholic, on Monsignor Bergoglio, who has this monster within his ecclesiastical parish, within the place of the doctrine of Christ, to take serious and decisive measures - because this man not only has to receive social condemnation, which he already has, but also the condemnation of the Church of Argentina that he is a member of, and that he disgraces.” The mention of Bergoglio was not gratuitous: the Cardinal was Grassi’s close confidant and one of the few who met with him at the Happy Children Foundation, where the abuses were committed.
Accompanied by the lawyer Juan Pablo Gallego – who led the case for the juvenile complainants – Carlotto presented the details of her accusation in front of Falbo.
Gallego, in response to a question from a journalist, said that there was documentation that was particularly damning of Grassi, but that was dismissed not only by the Tribunal that would judge him, but also by the Attorney General tasked with presenting the accusation against the priest, since neither of the two juvenile complainants will be legally represented in the trial due to “maneuvers” that are now being investigated at the behest of the provincial Supreme Court.
Father Grassi, who previously appealed before the Supreme Court and demanded a “popular trial” for the “disrepute” that he attributed to the Justice of Morón, is now in complete agreement with the proceedings by which the Tribunal will judge him. Grassi’s abrupt change of opinion has its origin in the many favorable judicial conditions with which he arrives at the trial.
The trial of Julio César Grassi is set to begin on the 3rd of July in the Criminal Court of Morón, coinciding almost exactly with the World Cup. But not all the crucial witnesses will take part in the judicial process. Neither will all the elements of the investigation of Telenoche Investiga that, in October, 2002, revealed the instances of abuse of minors for which the founder of the Happy Children Foundations will be tried: six cases of abuse and perversion of minors, compounded by his standing as priest and guardian of the molested children.
- Neither the Tribunal nor the District Attorney demanded the expert psychological evaluations that Grassi refused to submit to on five separate occasions
- Several witnesses who contributed to the Telenoche Investiga report, and who were key in the preliminary investigation, will not appear in court.
- While Grassi’s lawyers work piece by piece to absolve him, the boys (“minors”) will not have legal representation in the proceedings.
- The records of the judicial investigation will not be included in the trial, records that would implicate Grassi in abuse of minors in El Calafate.
- The details of two Juvenile Judges of Morón, Ricardo Oyama and Clementina Landolfi, who reportedly turned a key testimony to favor Grassi, will not be vetted in the proceedings.
The complaint made by Carlotto and Gallego now puts under suspicion the three judges of the Tribunal of Morón, Pedro Rodríguez, Carlos Torti and Rodolfo Castañares, and also the district attorneys who dismissed the evidence that would’ve compromised Grassi.
This new development could put the trial on hold until the Court resolves whether or not there was partiality by those held responsible for imparting justice.