Priests and a judge in child-sex scandal

ELIZABETH NASH

Madrid

Three priests, a marquis, a university professor, a policeman, a juvenile court judge and a retired flamenco dancer. This collection, together with 50 other people, have one thing in common: embroilment in a scandal involving a homosexual child prostitution ring in the southern Spanish city of Seville. Two men, a comedian and a singer, were bailed for 2m pesetas (pounds 10,000) this week on suspicion of corrupting minors in the case.

After months of investigating the goings on at the Arny gay bar, in Seville, Judge Maria Auxiliadora Echavarri recently lifted the ban on reporting that she had formerly imposed.

But she withheld the names of the witnesses, more than 20 boys some as young as 14, for their protection. They are identified only by number.

The scandal emerged when a young victim who did not receive promised payment tipped off the authorities more than a year ago that under-age boys were subjected to sexual abuse by prosperous dignitaries who frequented the Arny bar. One of the witnesses - known by the pseudonym "Eduardo" - said in a radio interview in January that he had been offered clothes, money, drinks, travel and cocaine in exchange for sexual favours.

The decision to conceal the identity of the accusers was denounced by defence lawyers as recalling the worst traditions of the Inquisition.

They learnt details of the accusations only by wading through 16 fat volumes of anonymous testimony, a labour that the Justice Ministry eased somewhat at the weekend by renting for them an industrial photocopier.

The chief evidence against the singer Javier Gurruchaga was his apparent request by telephone from a Seville hotel to the Arny for a "morito" (an Arab boy) to be sent to him. The police had tapped his call. Others, including the comedian Jorge Cadaval, are implicated on the evidence of young victims and in some cases photographs taken in the Arny by policemen posing as potential clients.

Judge Manuel Rico Lara, who presided over Seville's juvenile court, was suspended from his functions and bailed for 1m pesetas in January after one boy testified to having had a sexual relationship with him. The judge declared his innocence and claimed he had been a victim of mistaken identity.

The Arny was closed last October and its owner, Carlos Saldana, jailed on charges of promoting under-age prostitution. One of the establishment's highlights was Friday-night bingo with a naked boy in a private cubicle as the top prize. The youths were mostly Spaniards but included some from elsewhere in Europe and Morocco.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference