V. is 31 years old and reported his hockey coach for abusing her between the ages of 14 and 16. It took him a decade to be able to tell Justice what he had suffered with that man 25 years older than he trusted. This Tuesday, it spread a letter asking for justice and stated that the aggressor enjoys a house arrest with benefits. But he had never told his pain in the first person. He says he was silent out of fear. Today, choose to speak to Infobae about what happened in Brandsen, province of Buenos Aires.
“When it all started it was very strange, and very difficult at the same time: many scenes, many invasions of my body. He only told me, over and over again, that he was in love with me “recalled V. through an interview conducted remotely, via WhatsApp, in several sections. She did not feel ready for the face to face. There were questions in which he chose to write his experience, but also others in which he was inclined to open his story through audio notes. His voice, slow and solid, clarified: “I will try to answer you in a clear way.”
The case that began after the complaint of V. against coach Pablo Fernández Garaygorta, alias “Pacu” She was investigated by the prosecutor Marcelo Romero of UFI No. 6 of La Plata, who took her to trial. It will be the Oral Criminal Court No. 3 of this same jurisdiction that judges the accused in 2023 for the crime of “sexual abuse seriously outrageous due to its duration and the circumstances of its conduct, committed by a person in charge of education “.
Meanwhile, the hockey coach is being held under house arrest., granted by the Justice of Guarantees and endorsed by the judges who will see it in the dock. Infobae he sought the word of Fernández Garaycorta’s lawyer, but did not receive a response.
V. took a decade between the horror and the moment in which he decided to report it, in 2016. He assured that his life stopped in those 10 years: “The decision was very difficult, because he was still someone very well known at Brandsen: He had already passed through the Las Leoncitas (youth) national hockey squad and was forming part of the top men’s hockey squad, Los Leones, with whom he was champion of the Olympic Games ”.
“How did you meet him?”
—’Pacu ‘has known me since I was 3 years old, when I started the Colony in Brandsen. At 6, I started playing hockey at the club, and later he was also my teacher at school. It all started to happen when I was 14 and until I was 16. There was always a certain preference in terms of student and player, which put me in a very uncomfortable position compared to the rest in the field of hockey. When it all started it was very strange, and very difficult at the same time: many scenes, many invasions of my body. He just told me over and over that he was in love with me. Because of my vulnerability, and being a girl, I didn’t know how to distinguish anything. It was feeling trapped over and over again. And knowing that for society he was a very loved person, well seen by the majority, and respected.
—How did your life go on after that stage?
—When I managed to get out of there, I gradually lost my spaces and places: the club, hockey … I lost the enjoyment of moments at school with my classmates, and being in Brandsen was very difficult for me. They were 4 years of being silent out of fear, for not understanding very well what had happened. After I was able to tell my family about it, everything still remained very difficult. Little by little I began to understand, understand what had happened to me, and my body and my mind took their toll on me: depression, panic attacks, lack of interest and concentration. My passage through the faculties and living in La Plata was very difficult for me. I tried to go back to hockey and I couldn’t, because everything reminded me of him. My life stopped for 10 years and it was just trying to be better in one way or another, and feeling like nothing was working. In 2016, when I decided to report it, something changed. I understood that this had to be sanctioned. The decision was very difficult, because He was still very well known in Brandsen: he had already passed through the Las Leoncitas national hockey team and was part of the superior men’s hockey team, Los Leones, with which he was champion of the Olympic Games (Rio 2016). It was very hard to see how he enjoyed those triumphs while I struggled every day and suffered what I experienced. It is to this day that I find it difficult to go to Brandsen, to walk through the town. There are many people who believed my word but many who did not because of what he stood for. But here we continue, fighting and healing.
—Who did you surround yourself with to get to this stage where you could write a letter as a claim?
—To get to this, the process has been very long, it was going through different barriers, working in therapy, accompanied by family, friend and partner. They gave me the strength to write that letter today. It was difficult to cheer me up, it was to pierce the fear of the gaze of the others, more than anything for the town I’m from and the people of the place, and what he represented in that town. But it was a great surprise to receive so much support.
—And what made you take the step to file a complaint in 2016?
—Really, having made the complaint It was one of the most important decisions I made in my life: it took 10 years or more to go through the process before I could decide to do it. It was thanks to my change of therapist. I was with one, and then I left her. In 2016 I started with another psychologist who made me understand that this should be sanctioned, that this should not have happened. Always, from our place of victims, in these experiences, you have the doubt of having been guilty in something. Understanding that it was not like that was the click that made me take it to another level, to Justice.
“How did everything go on afterwards?”
—It was all very difficult, but everything after that was more difficult because I really did not expect all this long and arduous road, in which at first I thought I was being heard by the Justice and, in this last time, not really. It’s very exhausting. They make you feel, think and believe that you have to decide to get here, because to continue fighting against this is very difficult. Justice is like a giant monster. It is very tiring, but it is to continue. I am already on this path, I chose it and I consider it to be the right one, beyond the fact that healing on another level is very important for me. From the inside of each of the women who have gone through this. This doesn’t have to happen againTherefore, making it visible at the judicial level, beyond the social, I think it is very important, but it is not easy for that.
– In that sense, how did the people of Brandsen react after that complaint in 2016?
—When they give him preventive detention, that’s when maybe society starts to take my word for it. Before that, it was very difficult because he is a very recognized person in Brandsen, beyond what he is, but a lot of people followed him in hockey. All the players followed him, they wanted him. Also the families of the players at the club, at the Brandsen school. Say something like that from my place, express something like that, and let the story begin at Brandsen … People did not believe it, they could not see it. At that time, these subjects were not so qualified to speak and be heard. Mainly in my sports environment, some who were close friends with him and did not believe me or decided not to listen. Thus, also different adult people of the town, who wanted to continue believing in the character of Brandsen, who did cool things for the town and sport. Fighting that was very difficult. But hey, after the complaint and after they gave him preventive detention, they said: “Ah, yes the Justice is judging him from this place, then there must be some truth in this.”
“And how did people react when he decided to live in Brandsen again?”
-There are neighbors who did not agree with this possibility that they give him to move to that neighborhood. A note was made and signed. There was also a note from neighbors from other neighborhoods accompanying the others. Really, the amount of people who accompanied and who wanted to sign was surprising, who was surprised by this. But, in turn, that note was not heard: Justice turned a deaf ear, and the only thing that allowed and supported very quickly was his request to move and their possibilities of continuing to go out to perform certain tasks while they are at home.
“Regarding this, why do you say in your letter that you do not feel heard by the Justice?”
—I felt that the Justice turned its back on me the day they gave the home address, approximately in September 2019. From then on I felt that they were more obstacles than satisfactions. I think it coincided with the change of lawyers that he had. From there, he was permissive after another, and little controls at home.. This last time, with the date of the oral trial so far away, the permits they gave him for his transitory departures and today the opportunity to move back to the town of Brandsen, was very disappointing. It was to feel that one tries to take steps forward on the right path, but, suddenly, you find yourself taking steps backwards, because Justice shakes hands with people that it should not. I feel like he has a certain backing that I don’t know where he comes from, if politically or what, but I ask myself questions regarding that.. I wonder why these possibilities and permits while we are doing things the right way.
“Did he ever try to talk to you?”
—Before I decide to file a complaint, some years before, I met him and a fellow hockey player, a friend of his, who is a lawyer. In that conversation, I told him that I was sick, that what I had done was wrong and the only thing he could tell me was that it was not like that, but that he had fallen in love with me.i. Obviously, he did not assume anything that I was telling him. Later, I learned that when I made the complaint, and the rumor began to spread in Brandsen, with more judicial force, he tried to convince several female hockey players that what was said was not the case. And it is until today, while he is in house arrest, that he has contact with some of them and these players are still believing in him.
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He denounced his hockey coach for abuse and for the first time spoke of horror: “They were years of being silent out of fear”