Photography: Matías Baglietto.

Minutes after 8 p.m. the judge’s decision was announced José María Ramos Padillaof the Oral Criminal Court No. 29, on the sexual abuse accusation for which he was tried Joseph Alperovich. The former governor of Tucumán was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the case that began five years ago after the complaint of his second niece. The complainant accused Alperovich of having been attacked nine times, between 2017 and 2019.

Alperovich was also sentenced to perpetual disqualification from holding public office. Besides, Ramos Padilla established the immediate arrest of the former governor and his accommodation in a prison of the federal penitentiary service, as preventive detention. It is taken for granted that there will be instances of appeal to the ruling that must be resolved by the Chamber and even by the Court.

The hearing had been scheduled for 1 p.m. and Alperovich arrived at the courtroom accompanied by his children Gabriel, Sara, Mariana and Daniel. Faced with the possibility of saying his last words, the former senator decided to remain silent. Immediately afterwards, Ramos Padilla established an intermission room to announce the sentence at 8:00 p.m.

The requests for conviction in the allegations

In his plea Prosecutor Sandro Abraldes had requested 16 years and six months in prisonin addition to perpetual disqualification from holding public office. “This trial is a trial on the impunity of power”, was the definition given by Abraldes. “Alperovich wove a net with which he caught her. He used combined techniques to abuse his niece: showing off money, political management and then denigration. It is not just her testimony that gives strength to her complaint. There is multiple evidence and testimonies that support what she says. He was the builder of her own power. Everything was done the way he wanted. He owned everything,” the official added.

The representatives of the complaint, Carolina Cymerman y Pablo Rovatti, They asked for 22 years in prison for Alperovich. In his argument, Rovatti defended the testimony of the complainant against Alperovich’s version that everything was a “false complaint framed in a dirty campaign prepared by -the national deputy- Carlos Cisnerosan alleged lifelong enemy of hers, and by -the former councilor of San Miguel de Tucumán and ex-boyfriend of the complainant- David Mizrahi“. The lawyer also assured that it was proven that the former governor offered the victim money so that she would not report him. “She is not looking for fame, positions, or money. What she seeks is justice,” he added.

While Alperovich’s defender, Augusto Garrido, requested her acquittal, replicating the arguments that it was a false complaint and a political operation, along with an attempt by the complainant to obtain a financial settlement to dismiss the accusation. Garrido is part of the law firm of Mariano Cúneo Libaronacurrent Minister of Justice of the Nation.

The image of a misogynistic political regime

For more than a decade, Alperovich was an all-powerful man in Tucumán. He combined his position as governor, between 2003 and 2015, and a family fortune that grew over the years in which he was the richest official. In moments of greater accumulation of power, his wife, Beatriz Rojkés, had become president of the Senate, being third in line to Cristina Kirchner’s presidential succession.

In 2015, after three terms, he had to leave his place in the Government House and He arrived at the Senate, where he tried to retain the power of provincial Peronism.. In 2019 he faced his successor, Juan Manzur, but the results were adverse and fourth place buried his aspirations to be governor again.

It was in that last campaign, when Alperovich’s attempt to appear renewed revealed his short legs. In an interview, The former governor harassed and mistreated a journalist who asked him questions. In the trial it was stated that this fact, which generated a wave of rejections, was a trigger for the complainant to decide to make her case public.

The trial also showed that, prior to the 2019 electoral confrontation, The relationship between Manzur and Alperovich was close, where the latter enjoyed privileges and used State resources for his political activity.. From the dock, Alperovich also spoke of the officials who “made them” and who now turned their backs on him. A way to exemplify that in addition to the subjects, it is also a political regime, which was characterized by its misogyny and anti-rights actions.


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