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3 More Women Accuse 'Revered Statesman' of Sexual Misconduct

Oscar Arias allegations span more than 30 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2019 5:16 AM CST
Updated Feb 7, 2019 6:43 AM CST
Emma Daly, communications director for Human Rights Watch, gives an interview about her 1990 encounter with former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Former Costa Rican leader Oscar Arias is beginning to go from revered to reviled as more women come forward with allegations of sexual assault. After antinuclear activist Alexandra Arce von Herold filed a sexual assault complaint against the former president over an alleged incident in 2014, three more women came forward, including renowned Costa Rican journalist and TV presenter Eleonora Antillon. She tells the AP that Arias began harassing her as soon as she started working as a press aide for his campaign in the mid-1980s. On one occasion, she says, Arias pushed her into a closet and put her hand on his genitals. She says Arias has "serious problems with arrogance" and "sees himself as a conqueror."

Human Rights Watch communications director Emma Daly tells the AP that in 1990, when she asked Arias a question at an event full of journalists and politicians, "he put his hand on my chest and sort of pulled it down between my breasts and then said, 'You're not wearing a bra'—or words to that effect." The fourth women to come forward in the space of 48 hours, Marta Araya Marroni, tells the New York Times that the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner sexually harassed her during meetings when she edited his 2012 collection of essays. She says he once suddenly put his hand on her leg during a meeting, and repeatedly called her to insist she go to his house for a massage. Erick Ramos, a lawyer for Arias, says he will not be commenting on the allegations "out of respect for the process that is in course." (Read more Oscar Arias stories.)

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