Man Rescued in Andes Was Fleeing Child Sex Charges

BBC reports he allegedly abused 8-year-old boy in Chile
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2013 8:08 AM CDT
After being found in a remote mountain cabin, Uruguayan Raul Gomez uses a resuscitator in an ambulance that will transport him to a nearby hospital, in San Juan, Argentina, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.   (AP Photo/Diario El Zonda, Agustin Moya)
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(Newser) – The man who survived on raisins and rats while lost in the Andes for four months may not have exactly wanted to be found: It turns out Raul Fernando Gomez Cincunegui got lost while fleeing child sex charges, the BBC reports. The facts are a little mushy: The AP got confirmation from the Chilean prosecutor's office in Santiago that the 58-year-old is being investigated on allegations of child sex abuse and that an arrest warrant was issued April 22; the BBC reports he was actually on trial for allegedly abusing an 8-year-old boy, and that an arrest warrant was issued in July after he failed to show up in court.

Gomez's mom isn't buying the allegations, though. "Raul is a good, hard-working man," she says. "He never had troubles with anybody." So why would her son risk such a dangerous trek across the Argentina border in the middle of winter without supplies? "Because he's brave, and daring," she tells the AP. The BBC reports a prosecutor has now asked that Gomez be extradited from Argentina, where he's recuperating in the ICU of a San Juan province hospital. (Read more Andes stories.)

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