Peru: no charges for Catholic society leader accused of sex abuse
Posted by Jack Dylan Cole on Jan 19, 2017 4 comments

Peru: no charges for Catholic society leader accused of sex abuse

Peru: no charges for Catholic society leader accused of sex abuse Photo credit: Andina

Peru’s attorney general will not seek charges against Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV) founder Luis Figari for sex abuse for lack of evidence.

After an investigation which lasted over a year, prosecutors said on Monday that they would not seek indictments against Figari or six other SCV leaders including Jaime Baertl, Virgilio Levaggi, Jose Ambrozic, Jose Antonio Eguren, Eduardo Regal, Oscar Tokumura and Erwin Scheuch.

“There was not one victim who came forward to report that he was a victim of abuse,” prosecutor Maria Peralta told El Comercio. She added that the statute of limitations would likely exonerate Figari, who founded SCV 40 years ago.

Peralta also said that most of the accusers were of legal age when joining the SCV. Figari’s lawyers produced letters indicating the victims were adults when they requested membership and that minors are not accepted.

The apostolic society with groups in nine countries was rocked by revelations of widespread sex abuse by Figari and other top leaders in the 2015 book, “Half Monks, Half Soldiers,” by journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. The revelations prompted investigations of rape, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and other crimes.

While Figari will not be charged, current SCV leader Allesandro Moroni published a YouTube video last April declaring Figari “guilty” and “persona non grata.”

Figari retired in 2007 and now lives in Italy.

Figari founded the SCV society  in Peru in 1971. Officially recognized by Pope John Paul II in 1997, “Sodalicio” has since grown to become one of the world’s larger conservative Catholic societies, similar to Opus Dei, with active societies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Italy and the United States.

Sources

Fiscalía archivó denuncia contra Luis Fernando Figari, fundador del Sodalicio (Peru 21)

Sodalicio: fiscalía archivó las denuncias contra Luis Figari (El Comercio)

Sodalicio: denuncia contra Luis Figari fue archivada por Ministerio Público (La Republica)

Alessandro Moroni declaró ante el Ministerio Público por el caso Sodalicio (La Republica)

The Sodalitium in Peru (Sodalitium Christianae Vitae)

Peru: The Sodalitium scandal – Latin America Investigates (Al Jazeera)

  • Philip Brown

    History has shown that many victims of sexual abuse would rather stay “silent”; than relive the horror of a sexual assault. I believe that some inappropriate acts took place; I am a victim of sexual abuse in the US.

  • John Haigh

    There are 30 plus interviewees in the book, and I understood three named individuals made written statements, at least one has wriiten in detail on his web site under his own name, so what does this Maria Peralta mean?

    • I haven’t read the book but I got the impression that those who came forward were legal adults when they suffered abuse. Combine that with the statute of limitations and you have something creepy, but not illegal.

      • John Haigh

        The ages are not specified, but they seem to be schoolboys. The sodalicio recruits today through its schools, and also they used to go door to door in San Isidro (i heard from a female recruit, now a 30 yr old) asking if any children wanted to come out to play.