Home Legal ARGENTINA: Jehovah’s Witness, Pedro Matías Vargas, gets 12 years prison term

ARGENTINA: Jehovah’s Witness, Pedro Matías Vargas, gets 12 years prison term

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Pedro Matías Vargas to receive 12 years prison

The Trial Court of Appeals of Paraná, made up of Carolina Castagno, Gustavo Pimentel and Elvio Garzón, decided this Friday to declare Pedro Matías Vargas the material author and person responsible for the crimes of “Seriously outrageous sexual abuse aggravated by his position as a minister of a recognized or non-recognized religion and because he was the person in charge – done first – and simply repeated sexual abuse, in its modality aggravated by his position as a minister of a recognized or non-recognized religion – done second – in real competition, as author”; and will sentence him to 12 years in prison for effective compliance.

Originally published on Elentreríos on March 19, 2021

Meanwhile, the Court declared the other person responsible, Vito Luciano Panza, as a perpetrator. He is responsible for the crime of “Seriously outrageous sexual abuse as a perpetrator”. The court, recognizing him as a minor at the time the crime was committed, decided to forward his pleas to the Criminal Court for Juveniles and Adolescents. It is competent to proceed with handing down his sentence.

In addition, the Court was informed by the Judge that a request by the prosecution for preventive detention of Vargas was not granted. However, his imprisonment was to take immediate effective after sentencing (taking into consideration that he was always trying to do the right thing, working with the justice system, and not bothering the victims). The following precautionary measures were ordered: Maintain an address that he can not move from without judicial authorization. He is prohibited from approaching within a 300 meter radius of the homes of the victims. He is prohibited from carrying out unpleasant acts by any means or by proxy. He is obliged to withdraw from any public place where the victims are. He is prohibited from leaving the country. And every Friday, he must present himself to the closest police station to his residence.

The court granted the prosecution’s request to establish precautionary measures for the imputable minor, Vito Panza. These measures include maintaining an address that he can not move from without judicial authorization. He is prohibited from approaching within a 300 meter radius of the homes of the victims. And he is prohibited from carrying out unpleasant acts towards them.

On March 26 at 1:00 p.m., the sentence will be read in full. The trial was held in the debating hall of the La Paz city court building.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office was represented by the prosecutor, Facundo Barbosa. The private complaint was filed by the lawyer Valeria Burkhardt. While lawyer Roberto Alsina defended the accused.

Due to the characteristics of the three events, reported in 2017, the trial was held behind closed doors.

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