Thursday, June 13, 2024

ARGENTINA | 21-05-2024 15:59

'They raped me’ – Journalist recounts allegation against ex-Vélez players

The young female sports journalist who has accused three former Vélez Sarsfield footballers of raping her back in March has repeated her allegations in a new interview.

The young female sports journalist who has accused three former Vélez Sarsfield footballers of raping her back in March has repeated her allegations in a new interview.

In an emotional interview with the TN news channel, the accuser – who has sought to remain anonymous since filing criminal charges – denounced the four players who were there on the night in question, gave her reasons for seeking justice and told of the anguish of being “re-victimised” every day.

Paraguayan midfielder José Florentín and two Argentines, defender Braian Cufré and striker Abiel Osorio, are currently being held under house arrest in “Florentín, Osorio and Cufré raped me", following a ruling by local Judge Eliana Gómez Moreira. 

The same judge ruled that a fourth player, Uruguayan goalkeeper Sebastián Sosa, who is not accused of rape but of being a “necessary participant” in the alleged offence, should be released after posting bail of US$57,000. 

The players face prison sentences ranging from four to 20 years if found guilty. They have been banned from leaving the country and must not communicate with the victim.

In the interview, the accuser repeated her allegations against the trio accused of raping her.

“Florentín, Osorio and Cufré raped me,” she declared.


Invite to hotel room

The 24-year-old sports journalist alleges she was invited by Sosa to a hotel room in Tucumán's provincial capital, where the Vélez team was lodged after a match against Atlético Tucumán. 

She said there was nothing unusual in her visiting the players, given her profession.

“Football is a male environment and my job is to move among them. For me it is the most normal thing in the world to see them move in a group, or gather in a concentration in the hotels," the journalist said in the TN interview.

According to the victim, she came across Sosa in the press area at the Monumental José Fierro stadium. He then wrote to her via Instagram and after exchanging messages, he invited her for a drink at the hotel where they would be staying the night.

Once at the Hilton, the young woman went up to the fourth floor, entered the hotel room and first met Sosa. Cufré, Osorio and Florentín entered soon after. There she said that they began to drink beer and other alcoholic drinks.


Spiked drink?

The journalist alleges her drink was spiked. “For days I went back again and again to that scene and after a while I remembered that only Sosa and I had drunk alcohol,” she said.

“When I realised that something was happening, that the floor was moving, I wanted to ask Sosa for help but he was already slumped on the bed,” she recalled.

According to the victim, Florentín and Cufré then raped her. “Cufré grabbed me by the hair and forced me to perform oral sex on him while Florentín raped me from behind,” she said.

“After I was raped, Florentín and Cufré got dressed and went to play [games] at the casino. I was left lying on the bed without understanding what was happening. I started to bleed. As best I could I crawled to the bathroom to clean myself.

“I came back and lay down again because I was still dizzy and I couldn't find my clothes. There I noticed that Sosa was still asleep or seemed to be asleep and Osorio was acting as if nothing had happened. I began to reproach him for what his friends had done to me and how he didn't intercede to stop them from raping me.

“Suddenly, when I thought the worst was over, Osorio jumped from one bed to the other and started raping me too,” she claimed in the interview.

The journalist says she managed to grab her clothes and escape, images of which were recorded by the hotel's security cameras. 


Pressed charges

Four days later, accompanied by her parents and a lawyer, she filed a criminal complaint with the Tucumán Police.

The decision was not made easily, she explained.

“At times I have an anguish that I can't stop. I'm scared about my future. How do I go on? Will I be able to go back to my job? Which player will trust me? How do I get rid of the stigma that I was the whore who went to sleep with the Velez players? I am struck by the prejudice against victims of sexual abuse,” said the woman, who said she received abuse online daily since filing the complaint. 



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