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SPORTS | 16-06-2022 15:08

Boca showing lack of ‘empathy’ over sex abuse and rape claims, says footballer’s accuser

Tamara Doldán, the woman who accused Colombia and Boca Juniors star Sebastián Villa of sexual abuse and rape, criticises club’s response to allegations.

The 26-year-old woman who has accused Boca Juniors and Colombia star Sebastián Villa of rape and sexual abuse has hit out at his club for its response to the allegations.

Speaking during a TV interview addressing her claims against the footballer, Tamara Doldán said the night of the alleged incident was “the worst” of her life and criticised Boca’s decision to continue selecting the player for matches. 

Doldán, 26, called on the Buenos Aires side – one of the nation’s most popular clubs – to show “a bit of empathy” in response to the allegations.

In her first public appearances since she denounced her former partner before the courts on May 13, Doldán used a series of interviews to repeat her allegations that the footballer had raped and abused her on the night of June 26 of last year.

She has accused Villa of gender violence, sexual abuse, rape and attempted murder, alleging he raped her, beat her and detained her against her well.

“That night was terrible, he hurt me in every way. It was the worst night of my life. He ruined my life,” the young Argentine told the TN television news channel.

According to her version of events, the couple had gone out for dinner with some friends and fellow players from the Boca squad, during which Villa had become drunk. Later, after they had returned to the footballer’s home, Doldán alleges that the footballer provoked an argument due to jealousy. According to the accuser, the situation then worsened when she was undressed. 

“I was afraid because I didn’t know what he was going to do to me... I thought that he was going to kill me or hurt me even more,” she said.

“It’s hard to say that the person who you’re with raped you,” she told reporters, recounting that she went to hospital for treatment the following day because of the amount of pain she was in. 

"That night I went to a hospital because my belly hurt, it was hard to walk, and I was too ashamed to tell anyone where I was hurting, but I knew I needed to because I was sick. When I went in for a check-up, the doctor who attended me told me that I had signs of abuse and that I should report it," she told the Telenoche news show, describing her condition at the time as “bleeding and quite beaten.”

According to Doldán’s account to TN, the doctor who saw her said: “Whether or not he’s your partner, this is abuse, this is rape, you have been beaten.” 

The doctor, in giving testimony to the court, said that they do not remember the consultation but recognised their signature on the study order.

 

‘Live normally’

After the incident, Doldán said she tried to “live normally” as if nothing had happened. 

“In the beginning, I had the wrong idea – I thought that letting time pass would make me feel better, but no, it cannot,” she lamented. 

The woman insisted that members of Villa’s entourage had later tried to pay her off, offering her US$5,000 in exchange for not filing a criminal complaint. 

Doldán’s accusation is the second of its type to have been levelled against the Colombian star in Argentina. Villa is due to stand oral trial on September 19 for a complaint filed in April 2020 by another of his previous partners, fellow Colombian Daniela Cortés.

Villa, also 26, is accused in that case of gender violence, intimidation and threats and causing minor injuries to the victim.

In her interviews, Doldán questioned whether Villa should still be performing for Boca and the club’s decision to continue selecting him.

“Sebastián Villa is a person who I do not want to see again in my life. Unfortunately, he is everywhere. And I have to see how he is idolised too,” the woman told the América TV channel, her voice cracking as she spoke. 

Club officials say they are awaiting to see whether the courts take further action against the Colombian forward and winger, who remains under investigation.

Over the past few weeks, Boca legend and club Vice-President Juan Román Riquelme has praised the 26-year-old’s professionalism, describing him as “an example.”

Doldán, however, asked if it was right that he should still be up for selection.

Seeing Villa play "hurts me, it hurts me a lot," said the accuser. "The only thing I ask of Boca, and of everyone, is a little empathy and respect. We all have the principle of innocence, it's true, but is a little empathy not possible? I don't understand, why do they have to make it so difficult?" she said, breaking down in tears.

Prosecutors have asked for Villa’s arrest, but last week Procedural Judge Javier Mafucci Moore rejected the request.

 "There is obviously a degree of possibility that the act may have occurred, but the evidence does not have the degree of intensity, univocity, coherence and effectiveness required for an arrest warrant," the judge wrote in an 11-page ruling.

Villa will remain at liberty, but he remains under formal indictment. 

 

– TIMES/AFP/NA

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