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Ex-Miss Costa Rica reportedly accuses Oscar Arias of sexual assault

The former president of Costa Rica and recipient of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize, Oscar Arias. EPA-EFE/File

The former president of Costa Rica and recipient of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize, Oscar Arias. EPA-EFE/File

EFE

A former Miss Costa Rica has filed a criminal complaint against ex-President Oscar Arias, winner of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize , allegedly that he sexually assaulted her four years ago, a local news Web site reported.

The allegations by the erstwhile beauty queen, whose name was not released, were reported Friday by ameliarueda.com, which said the complaint had been filed with federal prosecutors the day before.

The woman said Arias invited her to his home in 2015 to give her a book and that, once she was inside, he grabbed her by the head, pressed her against him, touched her breasts and kissed her against her will.

“He touched my breasts over my clothes and then kissed me on the mouth against my will,” the complaint said. “I moved away, I froze up. I didn’t know what to tell him. All I could think to say was ‘Oscar, I have to go.’ I walked to the door. He didn’t say or do anything else.”

The woman added that the incident was shocking and that she “didn’t expect something like that from such a well-known person” whom she “greatly admired.”

The woman said that in 2015 three attorneys refused to accompany her to file the complaint and advised her not to take the matter to the courts.

But she said she was emboldened this week after learning that another woman on Monday filed sexual-assault charges against the former president, who governed Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2010 as a member of the National Liberation Party (PLN).

Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his work to bring peace to Central America.

“When I saw what had happened to this other girl and (reflected on) the #MeToo movement, I thought I needed to summon my strength because I saw this was habitual (behavior) in him,” ameliarueda.com quoted the ex-Miss Costa Rica as saying.

“I sought out two attorneys and they said they wouldn’t help me,” the woman told that news Web site. “But I managed to find one who did decide to help me and accompany me to file the complaint.”

Alexandra Arce von Herold, a 34-year-old psychiatrist and anti-nuclear activist, filed a sexual-assault complaint against Arias with federal prosecutors on Monday, the Semanario Universidad weekly reported Tuesday.

Arce said she was sexually assaulted by Arias in December 2014 while meeting with the former president to enlist his support for her organization’s campaign against nuclear weapons.

Since her complaint was filed, several other women have come forward in the media and on social-networking sites to accuse Arias of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Journalists Nono Antillon and Emma Daly say Arias sexually abused them in 1986 and 1990, respectively.

Costa Rican media also have reported on sexual harassment allegations leveled by the editor of Arias’s book “Con velas, timon y brujula,” Marta Araya, who says that in 2012 the politician offered to give her massages.

Another alleged victim, Monica Morales, a reporter for the Costa Rican magazine Perfil, wrote an article Wednesday in that publication alleging that Arias insinuated during an 2013 interview that she sit on his lap.

Arias, 78, issued a statement Tuesday through his legal team denying Arce’s allegations and saying he would make no further comment.

He has not yet remarked on the other accusations.

The PLN said Thursday that the politician has decided not to participate in any party-related activities while confronting the allegations.


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