Randy Engel
The Gaztelueta trial ends with a guilty verdict, Opus Dei appeals ruling to Supreme Court
This article first appeared on AKA Catholic on February 4, 2019
By Randy Engel
February 12, 2019


The following is a six-day account of the historic trial of Opus Dei numerary, José María Martínez Sanz, on charges of sexually assaulting a young boy under his tutelage at the Opus Dei Gaztelueta "flagship" school in Basque Country in northern Spain.

The Gaztelueta trial took place 10 years after the sexual assault began during the 2008 to 2010 school terms at which time the plaintiff was 22 and his assailant 42 years of age. .

On November 13, 2018, 33 days after the Gaztelueta trial ended, the Provincial Court of Bizkaia, Spain, in a 70-page ruling, by unanimous consent, convicted Martínez of the sexual assault of a Gaztelueta school minor and sentenced Martínez to eleven years in prison.

The Gaztelueta school/Opus Dei has appealed the verdict to the Spanish Supreme Court.

This writer will inform Catholic Inquisitor readers when that verdict comes in.

Background stories on the Gaztelueta Case have been run exclusively on AKA Catholic at https://akacatholic.com/opus-dei-watch-march-part-1/, https://akacatholic.com/opus-dei-watch-march-part-2/ and an in-depth interview with the victim's father Mr. Juan Cuatrecasas on https://akacatholic.com/opus-dei-sex-abuse-case-an-exclusive-interview/.

Gaztelueta Trial Opens in Basque Country

The trial of the Gaztelueta case was held at the Provincial Court of Bizkaia, Spain, from October 4 to 11, 2018. It was the first criminal trial on this issue.

Under the Spanish judicial system there is a president of the court tribunal who writes the sentence and two additional judges – three in all – who will hear the case and deliver the verdict. There is also on hand a secretary and court aides.

The attorney for the defendant was Opus Dei lawyer Eduardo Ruiz de Erenchun, associate professor of Criminal Law at the University of Navarra.

Ruiz attained a certain degree of notoriety in 2008 when he defended José Diego Yllanes Vizcay, a resident psychiatrist at the University Clinic of Navarra (a corporate work of Opus Dei similar to the Gaztelueta school) who was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for the brutal sexual assault and murder of Nagore Laffage, a 20-year-old student of nursing at Opus Dei's University of Navarre, in Pamplona. Although Yllanes murdered Laffage in a cold, calculating manner by beating and strangulating the victim and attempting to dismember the corpse, Ruiz successfully convinced the jury to reduce the charge against his client from murder to homicide (manslaughter) on the basis that Yllanes's actions were not premeditated.

The private prosecutor for the plaintiff was Leticia de la Hoz Calvo from Palencia,' a specialist in child sexual assault Her law firm partner was Luis Manuel Fernández.

The public prosecutor was Alejandro Torán.

The judges of the court tribunal were Alfonso González-Guija ( President) and Juan Manuel Iruretagoyena and Jesús Agustín Pueyo.

De la Hoz, the attorney for the victim has asked for a sentence of 10 years in prison, plus an additional four years and six months if the long, continuing and aggravating factors of superiority and trust were included.

However, the public prosecutor has asked for only three years and the imposition of a civil liability of 40,000 euros upon the defendant and the Gaztelueta school. The lawyer for the defense has asked for a free acquittal based on the grounds that there was no type of criminal activity on the part of the Gaztelueta professor.

Day 1, Thursday, Oct 4, 2018

The Accused Tearfully Implores his Innocence

On the first day of the trial, the defendant, José María Martínez, was the first to take the stand. He spoke very briefly claiming his innocence. According to the former teacher and preceptor, as the real victim in the case, he has experienced "2,669 days of suffering from the false accusations."

Responding to a question from the president of the court, the accused restated that the accusations of sexual abuse against him were totally false, but he had no explanation as to the reason for the accusations and for the animosity and "iniquity" shown toward his person by the victim and his family.

Martínez was questioned by Torán., the public prosecutor, and by Ruiz, his own attorney. However, he refused to answer any questions put to him by Leticia de la Hoz, the victim's attorney, and the Attorney General's office, as is his right against self-incrimination under the law.

The Gaztelueta professor admitted that as the victim's preceptor, he had summoned the victim to his office more times and for longer periods than usual "because the young boy's academic performance was declining." He did not explain, however, why he, a history teacher, took the victim out of a formal math class to tutor the young boy in math.

The accused noted that Imanol Goyarrola, the boy's former Opus Dei tutor, had told him (Martínez), that the boy was "a good kid," but was not living up to his potential, so Martínez said he took an added interest in the young man.

Martínez also volunteered that in addition to helping the boy with his math, he also offered to coach the young boy in adolescent development and sexology.

But he categorically denied that he forced the boy to masturbate; that he introduced inanimate objects into the boy's anus; and that he tried to excuse his mockery in the class towards the complainant by assuring him that he is "a joker."

During the trial there was always one Opus Dei male member sitting near Martínez . Also, present at different times were other Opus Dei lawyers including the lawyer for the Gaztelueta school and Juan Carlos Mujica, Director of the Department of Communication for Opus Dei in Basque Country, who was accompanied by an unknown man. Martínez's mother and father were not seen at the trial.

Victim Describes the Nature of his Abuse

Martínez's testimony was followed by that of the plaintiff who was hidden behind a large white screen as part of the witness protection protocol. The identity of the victim has never been released and is still protected, although his surname, Cuatrecasas, is known.

The young man was aged ten to twelve and in the 1st and 2nd year of Secondary Education at the Opus Dei Gaztelueta school when the abuse began.

In contrast to the brief testimony of Martínez, the victim, now twenty-two years old, was questioned for several hours. In a relatively calm and clear voice, he reported the details of his sexual abuse at the hands of Martínez including the perpetrator's sexual conversations with him, bodily touches, and the incidents of forced masturbation and penetration of the boy's anus with pens.

He acknowledged that he continued to have nightmares, feelings of shame and suffered a series of personal crises that led him to try to commit suicide on two occasions and that he required psychological and psychiatric treatment as a result of the trauma of sexual abuse at the hands of his former Opus Dei tutor and spiritual director.

In a distinct but quivering voice, the victim described his feelings as a young boy trapped in his tutor's office with the window blinds lowered and the door locked. First, he said, came the intimate questions about his person. Then his tutor told him to remove his clothing. Then began the touching and caressing of his body.

On one occasion, the young man recalled, Martínez told him to sit on his knee. He said he could feel Martínez's erection through his clothing. On another occasion, he testified, Martínez forced him to masturbate in front of a picture of a young woman in underwear. Then, the victim said, his tutor passed him a handkerchief to clean himself with. The complainant recalled that he knew what he was doing was wrong and he said he started to cry.

As time went on, the plaintiff testified, his tutor started to introduce objects into his anus. Afterwards, he would remind the young boy, as he always did, that he must not tell anyone about these encounters. The victim remained silent about the sexual abuse even when Martínez ridiculed him in class.

Noting the change in their son's personality and the drop in his school grades, the victim's parents, who were still ignorant of the sexual abuse of their son, moved their him to another school However, the victim continued to receive threats and ridicule from his former classmates at Gaztelueta who were being egged on by Martínez.

Even after the change of schools, the young man testified, he continued to have nightmares and began to suffer hallucinations and memory lapses. One day, as his mother was driving the family car, he attempted suicide by throwing himself out of the car. On another occasion he went to the local train station and thought of throwing himself in front of an approaching train, but did not do so.

Initially, the plaintiff said, he told his parents only that he was being bullied at the Gaztelueta school, but the night of his first suicide attempt, he confessed to his mother that he had been sexually abused at the Opus Dei school by Martínez.

Day 2, Friday, Oct 5, 2018

On the second day of the Gaztelueta trial, the parents of the victim testified, along with the Opus Dei director of the Gaztelueta school, Imanol Goyarrola, and the previous director, Iñaki Cires, and the Inspector of Education.

The testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Juan Cuatrecasas followed closely the information on the Gaztelueta case already presented in previous articles. The bottom line of the father's testimony was "My son has been in hell and my wife and I, very close."

Ruiz, Martínez's lawyer, questioned the victim's parents about an anxiety attack that the boy had experienced in 5th grade. The drug Orfidal, a sedative and anticonvulsant, was prescribed by the boy's pediatrician, but as it turned out, the anxiety episode went away on its own and the parents found it unnecessary to administer the medication. The pediatrician himself testified later in the trial for the defense.

Next to testify were two key Opus Dei witnesses for the defense, Imanol Goyarrola and Iñaki Cires, who gave their version of the events leading up to the school administration's internal investigation of the charges leveled against Martínez. Both reported that they believe Martínez to be innocent of the charges of sexual abuse.

Goyarrola was questioned in detail concerning the victim's charge that Martínez had shown the young boy pictures of naked women from his computer and specifically, a picture of English actress Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame. The former deputy director, now the Opus Dei director of Gaztelueta, insisted that this was impossible because all Gaztelueta school computers including Martínez's computer had filters which exempted such visuals. Goyarrola testified that his investigation of the Opus Dei numerary's computer found nothing improper, meaning the alleged victim was lying.

However, Goyarrola's testimony was proved incorrect when the victim's lawyer, de la Hoz demonstrated that an internet history check of Martínez's computer produced links to several pages of naked women including that of the naked Miss Watson as reported by the victim.

The two Gaztelueta officials were followed by the Inspector of the Department of Education who reviewed the procedures his office followed after Mr. Cuatrecasas had brought his complaint of sexual abuse against his attention. The inspector, known to have a close relationship to the Gaztelueta school stated that the "facts" presented by the victim's family concerning the case did not "square" with the "evidence" (provided by Gaztelueta officials) and was, therefore, not "credible." His department, he said, decided to take no action.

Day 3, Monday, October 8, 2018

Among the witnesses called by Ruiz to testify this day was the victim's pediatrician who stated that while in elementary school the young victim had experienced periods of anxiety accompanied by tachycardia and other symptoms, but no known cause was ever detected.

However, the pediatrician admitted that after the victim entered into his secondary education and during the years of his alleged abuse from 2008 to 2010, the symptoms were no longer present.

The parents had already testified that they found it unnecessary to give their young son the prescription drug Orfidal because the symptoms had disappeared on their own.

The third day of the trial also featured professors and former students from the Gaztelueta school. Much of this questioning by Ruiz, for the defense, and de la Hoz, for the plaintiff, centered on the location of Martínez's office located in a high traffic area, aka "transit" zone of the school. One professor insisted that, "It's as if it happened on the Gran Vía at eleven o'clock in the morning." (The Gran Via is a bustling commercial center in Bilboa with a tree-lined boulevard crowded with banks, offices, stores, and upscale apartments.)

However, the same professor and other teachers admitted both to the president of the court and to the victim's attorney that they never entered the professor's office when Martínez was conducting a "tutorial" session with the victim. Further they did not know if the office was capable of being locked from the inside, which it was.

Some of the defense witnesses which included teachers and alumni who, under interrogation, admitted that they had signed a notarized statement in favor of Martínez that had been prepared and paid for by Opus Dei officials. The statement expressed support for the accused Opus Dei numerary. After the questioning period, the defense withdrew the names of five persons scheduled to testify in favor of Martínez.

There was conflicting evidence given by defense witnesses concerning the frequency with which the victim was removed from class to attend Martínez's private "tutorials." Some said it was "rare" for Martínez to pull the victim from his regular classes, and that the victim had missed many classes.

However, one former student broke the code of silence and told the court that Martínez had taken the victim into his office "three or four times more than the others," and that these meetings lasted longer. He recalled that he thought it "weird" that the victim never told anyone what was happening to him. He said he had heard the victim was being bullied and harassed by his comrades who suspected what was going on, but explained that he did not participate in those actions.

Day 4, Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018

The fourth day of the trial appeared to be a turning point in the victim's favor with the testimony of psychologists and psychiatrists who assured the judges that the victim suffers from post-traumatic stress caused by sexual abuse.

The conclusions of an earlier report commissioned by Judge Emilio Lamo de Espinosa of the Magistrate's Court No. 5 of Getxo in 2017 was presented into evidence at the Gaztelueta trial.

Judge Lamo had ordered a team of four judicial experts, including two psychologists and two forensic specialists, to meet with the victim in three separate study sessions. In a rare occurrence, all four of the experts confirmed that the victim suffered from a "post-traumatic stress disorder" caused by sexual abuse and harassment.

They also agreed that the victim's story was marked by "coherence" and "absence of contradictions." This criteria of credibility and reliability were clearly demonstrated by the victim who scored a 99% on the psychometric tests that were administered to him.

On January 20, 2017, Judge Emilio Lamo found that there was "sufficient and clear evidence of criminality" to permit the Gaztelueta criminal case to go to trial in the Provincial Court of Bizkaia.

Giving testimony for the private prosecution was Dr. Iñaki Viar, one of the most prestigious forensic psychiatrists in Basque Country. Dr. Viar, who had treated the young victim for eight years, denounced Martínez for the sexual abuse he had inflicted upon the boy and testified that it is "impossible and unlikely that a 12-year-old child would invent [a story] that he had been abused." Viar stated from the time of his first meeting with the young man, until now, the victim has never changed his account of what happened to him at the Gaztelueta school. Iñaki Viar said that the whistleblower's story "has not changed a bit in all these years." The psychiatrist also noted that the victim continues at the age of 22 to suffer from his sexual abuse.

Viar testified:
    Fabulation, psychosis or mental illness is ruled out. He has a post-traumatic stress syndrome caused because during the two years, from 2008 to 2010, he lived the terrifying experience of being at the mercy of his tutor, who first humiliated and ridiculed the victim in front of his classmates, who also harassed him. Then the tutor used his victim to denigrate him and do whatever he wanted: that is how torture works.
Viar's testimony was supported by other psychiatrists and psychologists advocating for the plaintiff including Dr. Araceli Medrano and Dr. Eva Sesma, who stated that the victim's abuser used "the strategy of humiliating, ridiculing and isolating him." They also pointed out that the victim revealed the facts of his abuse "little by little, at his own pace, and that in doing so he paid "a great price on a psychological level." They also agreed with Viar that it was impossible for a person to be diagnosed without personal interviews.

The psychiatrist for the defense of Martínez, alleged that the complainant "does not lie deliberately," but that he (the victim) acted "under the suggestion and influence" of the type of questions asked. As a "hypothesis" he suggested that the facts related by the victim were "false memories" that have been "enriched with the passage of time."

However, the defense witness acknowledged that he has not personally examined or held any meeting with the plaintiff and that he formed his hypothesis after viewing the court statements on video."

This means that the only witness against the victim was a doctor who had never personally interviewed the victim.

Day 5, Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This day was given over to the Office of the Public Prosecutor, Alejandro Torán, who has never given his full support to the victim and his family despite the fact that he believed the evidence that Martínez was guilty of the sexual abuse of the victim at the Opus Dei Gaztelueta school.

Public prosecutor Torán, requested a three-year prison sentence for Martínez on the grounds that the professor launched a "preconceived plan with libidinous aims" over two courses.

However, the public prosecutor held on to his earlier position that ruled out the most serious charges made by the victim including forced masturbation and anal penetration with objects.

In his final pronouncement, Torán presented the court with an alternative option or qualification for the sentencing of the alleged perpetrator of the crime. He took note of the differences between the 2008 penal code which was in effect when the crime was committed and the current penal code which opens the door to a substantial reduction of the sentence, which would be only 20 months in prison or less (or no time at all) if this was the accused's first conviction.

Torán also asked that the Opus Dei school be made a "subsidiary civilian" of compensation to the victim of 40,000 euros to pay for the victim's medical expenses and that the court issue a restraining order against Martínez of five years with regard to contact with the victim.

Day Six, Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lawyers Makes Their Final Statements

Opus Dei veteran criminal attorney Eduardo Ruiz, the defense lawyer for Martínez, stated that he focused "on evidence, not feelings and emotions." He argued that it was the victim's mother who induced her son to fabricate the whole story and that it was the victim's father, not Martínez, who showed the young boy erotic photographs from his film cache (computer). He charged the victim with possible "paranoia" and the parents of seeing "ghosts" where there were none.

Ruiz insisted that credibility is the first filter that the testimony must overcome. He said "I believe" is not proof and there is no proof in this case.

Ruiz systematically grilled the victim on every possible detail, but as I noted earlier, the law does not afford the private prosecutor the same favor.

For example, at one point in his summary, Ruiz asked out loud if the hard lump that the plaintiff felt when Martínez had the boy sit on his lap could have been a mobile phone and not an erect penis as the victim claimed?

He reiterated that the key to the trial was the Opus Dei's professor's office located in open sight of heavy traffic by teachers, administrators, and students which, he said, made it impossible for the sexual abuse to take place.

The defense attorney closed with the statement that "The worst witness is not the one who lies, but the one who is convinced of what counts."

De la Hoz Mounts a Call for Justice

De la Hoz centered her final statement on the long, never-ending nightmare that the sexual abuse of the young Cuatrecasas has caused the victim and his family – a nightmare, she said, that she herself cannot even begin to imagine. She lashed out at the "joke in bad taste" in which the defense claimed it was the mother who induced the false testimony in her son and the father who showed his own son a picture of a naked woman. "Either the victim is believed, or we do not believe him," de la Hoz stated.

She also criticized the testimony offered by a litany of Gaztelueta teachers and parents in defense of Martínez, some of which was found to be "prepared" by the defense, and later dismissed by the court as evidence against the complainant.

De la Hoz also highlighted the fact that the defense erroneously denied the claimant was a victim of bullying, when, in 2011, the prosecutor for the Office of Children filed several complaints against the Gaztelueta students who carried out the bullying against their classmate.

"If the defense is in blind to the proven bullying charges against the victim, how are they going to admit the sexual abuse committed against the victim," she asked with a touch of irony.

In her concluding remarks, de la Hoz pointed out that in many ways the trial of the Opus Dei numerary Martínez, had in fact, become a trial of the victim.

"It is a characteristic common to the victims of sexual crimes," she said, "that they feel the brunt of shame and guilt that belongs not to them but to the perpetrator of the crime." She added that the complainant does not seek revenge, but rather he seeks recognition of the crime committed against him in order that he might heal himself.

Gaztelueta Trial Ends – Family Awaits Verdict

Following the close of the Gaztelueta trial at the Provincial Court of Bizkaia, Juan Cuatrecasas, the father of the plaintiff, met with reporters and expressed his appreciation to Leticia de la Hoz and Luis Manuel Fernández for their legal and heartfelt fight for justice for his son and his family.

Mr. Cuatrecasas said that he and his wife were very proud of their son who had acted so bravely and coherently during the trial. He said that his son remains in treatment and the recovery process is long, slow and expensive. On a sad note he indicated that his son had suffered a relapse as a result of the trial. He went on to remind the reporters and media representatives of the harsh reality that whatever the Gaztelueta trial verdict, "No one is going to give my son back that part of his life."

As for the Office of the Prosecutor, Cuatrecasas was critical of the lack of due diligence on the part of the public prosecutor in regard to the [lack of] gathering critical evidence on the case as soon as it was reported. The father of the victim also noted that the prosecutor had taken a shameful adversary position against victim and his family from day one and had used unprofessional tactics against his son during the many questioning and cross-examination periods that followed.

The Cuatrecasas family has received much public support at home in Spain and abroad, including the United States, as well as from former victims of clerical sexual abuse and victim support groups including Javier Paz, and Garaitza – the Association for the Treatment of Childhood Abuse.

Also several political parties have expressed an interest in legislative reform of childhood sexual abuse laws, especially the importance of instituting special training of judges and police in dealing with minors who have been sexually abused.

Noticeably absent from the scene of the Gaztelueta trial, was any recognition, much less support, for the Cuatrecasas family from the Vatican and/or the Spanish Catholic Conference or Bishop Mario Iceta of Bilbao, the Diocese in which the crime occurred.

Cuatrecasas said he and his family expect nothing from the Church or the Opus Dei Gaztelueta school. "They already had their chance," he said.

Provincial Court Delivers Guilty Verdict Against Martínez

On November 13, 2018, 33 days after the Gaztelueta ended, justice was delivered to the Cuatrecasas family, not by Opus Dei or the Catholic Church, but by the State when the Provincial Court of Bizkaia delivered a guilty verdict against the accused, José María Martínez. The ruling was made public on November 15, 2018.

Martínez was sentenced to 11 years in prison and is prevented from acting in the capacity of a teacher (disqualification) for another 11 years, and must remain away from the victim for 15 years.

In the 70-page ruling the court announced that there is "no reason" to doubt the truth of the complaint filed against the accused, Mr. Martínez, by the victim shortly after he reached the age of majority and before his 19th birthday. The court acknowledged that the complainant acted out of a sense of justice and not revenge.

The magistrates said they were required to take into account many factors including the length and serious nature of the sexual abuse of the victim; the fact that the crime was committed by a person of trust, a teacher, who was charged with supervising minors; and the "unquestionable repercussions" the abuse has had upon the victim and his family including the victim's suicide attempts and years of medical treatments which are still ongoing.

Opus Dei Gaztelueta school officials came under harsh criticism by the judges for the attempt of the defense to manipulate some of its witnesses testifying against the victim.

The magistrates bluntly stated, "The testimonies of the people linked to the school have not convinced us because they have expressed a speech so homogeneous, so symmetrical and so uniform that it induces [us] to think about a studied defensive strategy."

During the trial it had come to light that Opus Dei officials at the Gaztelueta school had written and paid for notarized statements ostensibly "freely" made by Gaztelueta parents and teachers acting in support of Martínez.

Pope Francis has been informed of the guilty verdict, but thus far, the Holy See has made apology for the mockery of justice against the Cuatrecasas family by Father Silverio, a disguised agent of Opus Dei posing as a sympathetic ambassador from the Vatican who interrogated the victim in his own home under false premises.

Gaztelueta/Opus Dei React to Ruling

Instead of acknowledging the verdict and offering apologies to the victim and his family, Gaztelueta/Opus Dei officials issued a statement claiming that Mr. Martínez was falsely accused and was innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. The provincial court decision is not the "final resolution," they said.

In a November 15, 2018, letter to the parents of Gaztelueta school children, school director Imanol Goyarrola stated that the court had ruled against "the former school teacher" and had sentenced him to 11 years in prison. Goyarrola reiterated the school's determination to fight against sexual abuse and expressed "our solidarity and closeness to all the victims of sexual abuse [except the Cuatrecasas family]."

He ended with the assurance that should the sentence be appealed the school will continue to cooperate with legal authorities and pronouncements.

Not unexpectedly, shortly after the sentence was made public, Martínez announced in an open letter to the press that he will appeal the guilty verdict.

The convicted felon, playing the victim, told the press that, "The only consolation I find in this hell that has destroyed my life is knowing that God is a witness of my innocence. I cannot apologize for something that has not happened, but I can forgive those who are destroying my life and that of my family with such cruelty..."

Martínez Released on Provisional Liberty

On November 29, 2018, the Provincial Court of Bizkaia announced that during Martínez's appeal process, the Opus Dei numerary will be free on his own recognizance, aka "provisional liberty," until the Spanish Supreme Court decides to accept or dismiss the appeal. The convicted felon's passport has been confiscated and he is required to report weekly to a court monitoring agency.

The magistrates did not agree with the victim's attorney, Leticia de la Hoz, that Martínez represents a "flight risk," possibly to Australia where his Opus Dei superiors had sent him for a year when the Prelature was first notified by Gaztelueta school officials of the sex abuse charges made against him.

According to Martínez's attorney, Eduardo Ruiz, it will take somewhere between nine months to one year for the court to decide the appeal of cassation that he had recently filed on behalf of his client. Ruiz predicted that the Supreme Court will reduce the eleven-year prison sentence to a maximum of one year.

Since numeraries turn their salaries over to Opus Dei, it is assumed that the Prelature and/or Martínez's family will bear all the court costs associated with an appeal.

Mr. Cuatrecasas confirmed with this writer that Pope Francis has been informed of the guilty verdict by the Spanish provincial court but has not yet reacted to the conviction of Martínez, who in 2015 was declared "innocent" by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith following a fraudulent investigation conducted by a Spanish cleric acting as an subversive agent for Opus Dei.

Opus Dei Press Conference Maintains Martínez's Innocent

On November 29, 2018, Gaztelueta Director Imanol Goyarrola along with two other Opus Dei representatives including Juan Anguisola, President of the Board of Directors of Gaztelueta held a press conference at an old building on the Gaztelueta campus.

Later, the reporters were escorted to the scene of the crime aka, the former office of Professor Martínez. Here, Goyarrola, surrounded by cameramen and photographers, told reporters this was where the victim reported he was locked in and the blinds were lowered. Then he pointed to the curtains on the window thereby suggesting that the young boy was lying about the blinds.

It is unclear if any reporter asked if there had been any structural or décor changes made to the office by the school administration over the last ten years, which indeed proved to be the case. We know this because the defense wanted to enter into evidence a video it had prepared on the physical layout of the office, but the court rejected the video as evidence when it was learned that Gaztelueta officials had remodeled the unit after Martínez had left for Australia. The remodeled unit now sports a small glass window allowing persons to peer into the unit which did not exist when Martínez was "tutoring" the young victim.

Goyarrola and Anguisola told reporters that the convicted felon is "innocent," and that "there is no conclusive evidence" beyond the word of the complainant – "the word of one against that of another."

Never mind, that when the court magistrates issue a guilty verdict against the accused, the accused, for all practical purposes has been is has been found guilty of the crime under the law.

Goyarrola said he felt "sorry" for the young man (Martínez) and the "undoubted suffering" that he (Martínez) endures.

Goyarrola said an "injustice" had been done – a fault of the "cruel media." "What if the young man had accused me?" he asked. "How vulnerable and helpless teachers are!"

How can you understand that the facts that the young man says happened in public have been denied by his colleagues? "Gayarrola finally questioned.

This writer finds Gayarrol's charge to be absurd. The plaintiff never said the abuse occurred in "public." He said that the abuse took place in the tutor/spiritual director's office behind locked doors with blinds [not curtains] closed. How can this possibly be construed as a "public" event?

Cuatrecasas Family Calls for Action Against Gaztelueta Officials

A few days after the Opus Dei press conference, Juan Cuatrecasas and his wife issued a public statement and held a press conference in Haro (La Rioja) at which time the father of the victim urged the Prosecutor's office to take action again the Gaztelueta school and called upon the Basque Government to take all steps necessary to correct the Gaztelueta situation including the withdrawal of all public funds and government subsidies from the Opus Dei private school.

Cuatrecasas called for the dismissal of Goyarrola from the Gaztelueta school by Opus Dei authorities who operate the school. He said that Goyarrola's unwillingness to accept the Rule of Law and the verdict against Martínez insulted not only the magistrates of the Provincial Court of Bizkaia, but his son and "all victims of sexual abuse."

He also challenged Opus Dei to come out of the shadows where it hides and publicly admit, once and for all, that "it has a pederast in its ranks" and to call an end to the years of "inexhaustible victimization" of his son by Gaztelueta officials under the direction of Opus Dei.

A Closing Commentary on the Gaztelueta Case

I fear that whatever the Supreme Court rules, the Cuatrecasas family will NEVER get an acknowledgement from the Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, much less an apology, that one of his numeraries sexually assaulted and anally penetrated a young student at its Gaztelueta flagship school in Leioa, Spain.

To admit even the possibility that such a vile criminal could occur on its premises is to deny Escriva's belief that such things only happen in "religious orders" not Opus Dei, which the founder has always insisted is not and never will be a "religious order."

Thus, Opus Dei will continue to perpetuate the myth that the crime never happened; that the Opus Dei numerary is a saint and a martyr, and that the whole incident is a "fable" – a figment of the victim's family's wicked imagination.

This reporter has been following the Gaztelueta case for a number of years and, as far as I know, I am the only Catholic and American correspondent to have written about the case from beginning to end (or almost the end) and to have personally interviewed Juan Cuatrecasas for the Catholic Inquisitor and aka Catholic.

With the exception of CRUX news service which, after a little prodding from this writer, issued a damage control article by Opus Dei writer, Inés San Martín, CRUX Rome Bureau Chief, on November 19, 2018, titled "Ex-teacher at Opus Dei school sentenced to 11 years for abuse," no Catholic media source including Opus Dei's massive news outlets in the United States have covered this historic trial.

That Opus Dei is unwilling to hang its dirty Gaztelueta laundry out to dry is quite understandable given the desire of the Prelature to avoid scandal and to protect its public image at all costs.

In the Gaztelueta case, Opus Dei has proven to be as cold and calculating in withholding the truth of the Gaztelueta case as any Modernist bishop trying to hide the realities of clerical sexual abuse from his flock of sheeple.

Nevertheless, thanks to readers of my column OD WATCH which includes many ex-members of Opus Dei and their families who have managed to maintain contact with current numeraries and supernumeraries, I've been able to gain some insight into Opus Dei's campaign to deny or at least hide the truth of the Gaztelueta scandal from their membership.

One member has revealed that he was told that the Gaztelueta case ended in 2015 when the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement that Martínez was innocent of the charge of sexual abuse in the Gaztelueta; and his good name was to be restored; and the numerary reinstated to his teaching post

Another numerary, when asked what he thought about the Gaztelueta affair expressed total ignorance and said that he and other numes had not been informed about the case by their Opus Dei superiors or spiritual directors.

Another numerary who had learned about the case from the Spanish Opuslibros website was referred to the Gaztelueta school website created by Opus Dei just three days before the trial started on October 4, 2018. The Gaztelueta website defends Martínez and accuses the victim of lying.

Of course, what non-members think about Opus Dei's execution of punishment politics against the Cuatrecasas family in the criminal Gaztelueta affair is secondary to what Opus Dei's priests, associate diocesan priests, numeraries, and supernumeraries think about the Prelature's excretable performance in the Gaztelueta tragedy over the last eight years. Afterall, it is the latter's wages and donations that keep Opus Dei financially afloat.

I wonder if it is too much to pray for, that every Opus Dei numerary reading this series will wake up one morning (and I mean really wake up) and decide that he or she doesn't want to be part of Opus Dei's Gaztelueta school cover-up by subsidizing Martínez's legal fees and appeal to the Supreme Court?

Opus Dei's response most likely would be to immediately show the poor reprobate the door, but as the numerary would soon discover, it would be a wonderous door leading to a new-found freedom from the servitude of Opus Dei to the freedom of being a true Catholic and child of God.

Is there any Opus Dei numerary out there willing to pick up on my challenge?

The End

© Randy Engel


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Randy Engel

Randy Engel, one of the nation's top investigative reporters, began her journalistic career shortly after her graduation from the University of New York at Cortland, in 1961. A specialist in Vietnamese history and folklore, in 1963, she became the editor of The Vietnam Journal, the official publication of the Vietnam Refugee and Information Services, a national relief program in South Vietnam for war refugees and orphans based in Dayton, Ohio... (more)


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