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ARGENTINA | 12-07-2019 17:36

Rock star sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors

Cristian Aldana, the leader of local band El Otro Yo, handed more than two decades behind bars after being found guilty of the sexual abuse of minors.

Cristian Aldana, the lead singer of Argentine rock band El Otro Yo ("The Other Me"), was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Friday for sexually abusing minors.

The court ruled Friday that Cristian Aldana was guilty of abuse in four out of seven cases where he was accused.

Authorities say the abuses took place from 2001-2008. At the time the victims were 13 to 18 years of age.

As the verdict was announced in a Buenos Aires courtroom this afternoon, feminist activists yelled “We're not going to shut up anymore” and “Death to machismo,” according to the newspaper Clarín.  

The case began two years ago and has since triggered an avalanche of accusations against other musicians in Argentina.

Earlier in the day, Aldana had appeared before the court holding a makeshift sign that read “Without defence, there is no trial.” The rock star has maintained his innocence. 

“I am not a rapist, nor a stalker or a violent man,” Aldana had told the court. “It's a lie.”

His accusers, however, expressed some satisfaction at the sentence.

“I would have liked for them to give him more years. But I'm satisfied by the sentence obviously,” Ariell Carolina, one of Aldana's accusers, told reporters. “It is a number of years and it feels like a precedent for cases of sexual abuse against the young and gender violence.” 

Aldana has called his trial a “persecution” and reportedly lost 20 kilogrammes after undertaking a hunger strike behind bars. The now-convicted rock star has blamed his trial on a “deranged feminist war,” comparing his imprisonment to the treatment of prisoners during Argentina's last 1976-1983 military dictatorship, according to Clarín

Lawyers for the victims had previously requested Aldana be sentenced to 40 years in prison. 

- TIMES

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