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ARGENTINA | 12-01-2019 09:03

Paediatrician accused of ‘three decades of abuse’ as victims come forward

So far, at least 26 individuals have accused the paediatrician of abuse.

Allegations of sexual abuse spanning three decades were aired on Wednesday on the TN television news channel, when fourof the victims who said they had been abused by children’s doctor Alberto Cirulnik described their ordeal to TN television news channel. So far, at least 26 individuals have accused the paediatrician of abuse.

The abuses, which allegedly took place between 1978 and 2011, were first brought to light in mid-December in the immediate wake of the explosive scandal surrounding rape accusations against well-known television actor Juan Darthés, a watershed moment which prompted three of the abuse victims to come forward, denouncing Cirulnik and demanding his arrest.Their example was quickly followed by a further 20 others.

Most of the cases originated in Escuela ORT (one of the most prestigious private schools in the Jewish community), where Cirulnik was the main doctor for more than 20 years, but abuses were also denounced from both his own private surgery and the emergency ward of a hospital way back in 1978.

One of the trio originally denouncing Cirulnik last month was Malena Filmus, 28, the daughter of ex-minister and ex-senator Daniel Filmus, for abuses when she was a 14-year-old schoolgirl. The surname of the well-known politician (twice the Kirchnerite mayoral candidate in the Federal Capital) gave a higher profile to this case.

Among those denouncing Cirulnik last Wednesday was his own nephew Gabriel (now living in New York), who told TN that after he lost his own father to a traffic accident at the age of 10, his uncle became a kind of father figure to him and then proceeded to abuse his trust. On the same programme Diego Schvartz said that Cirulnik had fondled his genitals 26 years ago and then asked the eight-year-old boy to return the favour.

When the case first broke, the Argentine Paediatric Society (SAP, in its Spanish acronym) expressed doubts as to whether Cirulnik was really a paediatrician, while flatly denying that he had ever been a member.

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