The priest Juan José Gómez is a man known and important in Benin (Africa). His work as a missionary, pulling out to poor children between the ages of 8 and 17 years from the streets of the capital of Porto-Novo has been carried out in several Spanish media (EL PAÍS, Onda Cero and the journal.it is, among others) and even in a documentary about the trafficking of children in Africa (I'm Not in sales). In front of that appearance, a number of allegations by abuse cast shadows on your solidarity work. In 2013, volunteers reported to Gomez by to sexually assault several children who gave shelter with your program Guys of the street. Patrick Yehouenou, 20 years, is one of those guys.
According to recounts, his mother left him with 10 years and found refuge in the center portonovés of Magone. There he met Gomez. Three years after arriving there, from 2011 to 2013, the young mind that “the father Juanjo” took him several times to his room for violarle. He threatened and, in return, gave him money (2,000 francs of West Africa, about three euros) and medications to heal the wounds caused by the “strong penetration”. Ensures that the salesian did the same with other companions: Calix, Arnaud, Toussaint, Elisha, Yves Herman, Serge, Roland...tap the photo, Eight of the 18 Spanish religious accused of abuse at some point in their career have gone abroad (click on the image to see the full list).
The Salesians of Spain admitted that there were complaints and it was opened a criminal case in Benin, in which Gomez was acquitted. Yehouenou believe that the priest bought the silence of the abused and there was no trial. The order says that, when he got the news that in 2016, told “verbally” to the office of the prosecutor and to the National Audience, and delivered the information they had come from the african country. In addition, he adds that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith opened a canonical investigation that, so far, has not been completed.
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Gomez was transferred to a salesian house in Madrid —the order has not specified the specific date of his arrival, where you currently live until the ecclesiastical process is finished. This newspaper requested the salesians to get in contact with the defendant, but this he preferred not to speak, according to the religious order.
One of the times, after being violated, Yehouenou account that he fled from Porto Novo and sought refuge in the city of Cotonou in the salesian center Mom Margarita, but Gomez “was to look there”. The missionary offered him a job and tried to abuse it. The young man turned to flee from the centre. “The educators who work there know what is going on, but don't do or say anything because Juanjo is the authority,” he said in a telephone interview.
In 2013, he says, he learned that a boy named Jean, had reported -with the help of a few volunteers - to the priest. “The process was stopped by Juanjo corrupted it all, nothing came out in the press and that child disappeared,” he says. The young man says that he asked the salesians to what had been Jean, and these he was told that he was transferred to another facility. Yehouenou account that you tried to locate in the course new home, but says that there he said, “that Jean had not come”.Patrick Yehouenou, one of the two alleged victims, who accuse the priest Juan José Gómez of sexual abuse in Benin.
Then, he sought help on the Internet and found José Miguel Núñez, regional councillor of the salesians in the Region Europe West, who wrote to tell her of her case —with names and surnames— and ask for help. Núñez has stated to THE COUNTRY that the case of Gomez it is a matter of the authorities of Benin and it is the responsibility of the ecclesiastical province to which belongs said salesian. It has also ensured that when he received the letter of Yehouenou forwarded it to the prosecutor's office. “The Congregation has protected and accompanied to the victims”, said Núñez.
“from that day [after sending the letter] began a calvary. I continued, I stole the phone, they gave me beatings, and entered into my house to search for evidence and they destroyed it”, he confesses. For fear that it would happen “the same thing that Jean” escaped to Burkina Faso with the help of another salesian, where he spent a year and a half. “There came a time when they wanted to make me disappear. That priest helped me, but when I told him I was going to talk to the press ceased to catch me the phone,” he says.
According to the victim, Gomez managed to buy the silence of several victims. Three years after telling their story, the young man says he has not received any response from the courts and information of the conclusions of the canonical process. Three months ago he returned to Benin and admits that there is no more work “because Juanjo controls the place through its people”. Yehouenou ensures that in the center of Porto Novo, where they spend an average of 60 children a year, still victims. “We just want justice. Juanjo is an abuser and has destroyed the lives of many of us. The salesians have been protected always,” he stresses.
“Hui far because Gomez is very bad,”
Another of the testimonies is that of Arnaud Zosoungo, a street child who lived in the salesian house Mom, Margarita in Cotonou. According to account, one day, when the coordinator of the home was not, came Gomez. “I helped her to climb up the luggage to the top floor. After he closed the door, grabbed me by the arm and hugged me very strong,” he recounts in a letter that has been sent to this journal. Zosoungbo relates that, shortly after, the salesian began to pat him and touch his penis. “He took Me to his room and I could not refuse,” he continues. The young woman tells that after being violated, this gave him 5,000 francs West Africa (7,60 euros) and told him not to tell anyone about it. “After hui very far because he is bad, very bad,” he says.
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