Óscar Arias Sánchez was released from the criminal charges for alleged rape and sexual abuse that two women presented at the beginning of 2019, the Public Ministry confirmed on Monday.
A doctor surnamed Arce and a former beauty queen withdrew the complaints for reasons that are not publicly known, opening the door to suspend the proceedings against Arias due to the lack of evidence to bring him to trial, according to the official response to a Reuters query.
The withdrawal of the accusations was known last week by local press publications, a year and a half after both cases were opened before the Gender Prosecutor’s Office and other public complaints about inappropriate sexual conduct by Arias, 80 years old.
“The prosecutor in charge informed me that the two victims had made the decision not to continue with the process because of how painful and difficult that implies,” said the head of the Public Ministry, Emilia Navas, to the local radio station Columbia .
The judicial file is still under preliminary investigation. “The most probable thing is that a dismissal will be requested in view of the lack of evidence to be able to accuse,” Navas added.
Arias ‘lawyer, Erick Ramos, told Reuters he could not comment on the case, while Morales’ legal representative Rafael Rodríguez only confirmed the withdrawal of the charges and declined to provide further information. “My client has no interest in discussing it with the press,” he said.
Nor has the ex-president ruled on the resignation of the plaintiffs from the criminal process, after a year and a half of discreet public appearances since the February 2019 scandal, framed in the international #MeToo movement against gender violence.