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Costa Rican lawmakers remove Supreme Court justice accused of rape

July 28, 2014

All 53 lawmakers present at a Monday session of the Legislative Assembly voted in favor of removing Supreme Court Justice Óscar González Camacho from the bench, just days before González would have retired. The unanimous vote means González now will face a criminal trial on six counts of alleged rape and one count of attempted rape. The victim is one of his former subordinate judges.

González, who was a Civil Court, or Sala I, justice, was admitted Friday at the National Psychiatric Hospital, his daughter said in a note sent Monday morning to Assembly President Henry Mora.

González attempted several times to block Assembly proceedings by filing illness notices as well as 10 separate complaints to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV. All of those complaints were dismissed. The Sala IV rejected the last two on Friday.

I’m convinced that all of these moves were attempts to delay the process long enough to retire,” National Liberation Party lawmaker Antonio Álvarez Desanti, a member of the special commission, said on Monday evening. González would have retired from the bench on Aug. 1.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office had charged González in September 2013, but his removal by lawmakers was required by law in order for criminal proceedings to move forward.

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