Police escort into a police station, Bolivian provincial lawmaker, Domingo Alcibia, right, who faces charges of abuse of power, in Sucre, Bolivia, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. Security cameras show Alcibia having what appears to be nonconsensual sex in a legislative chamber with an extremely inebriated and possibly unconscious woman. Alcibia is not being prosecuted for sexual assault because the woman, a janitor, did not file a complaint, according to the prosecutor in charge of the case, Fernando Pacheco. (AP Photo)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:59 pm
Feminists demand rape probe in Bolivia sex video
By CARLOS VALDEZAssociated Press
The lawmaker, Domingo Alcibia, was arrested Tuesday, a week after the scandal broke, and prosecutors said he would be charged with abuse of power but not with rape because the woman, a janitor, had not filed charges against him.
"We are demanding that the prosecutor's office investigate the incident and if it is necessary we will be the ones to file a rape complaint," Patricia Branez of the Center for Women's Information and Development told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
A small group of feminists has been picketing the prosecutor's office in Sucre, the capital of Chuquisaca province, to press the demand. The woman, who has not been identified, has left the city, authorities say.
Justice Minister Cecilia Ayllon said last week that no one can be charged with rape unless the victim files formal charges.
Alcibia, a member of President Evo Morales' governing MAS bloc, has denied that he sexually assaulted the woman. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted on the abuse of power charge. But many Bolivians believe he got favorable treatment because of his political affiliation.
"The government has broken the principle of equality of all citizens before the law by creating first- and second-class citizens," Waldo Albarracion, a former national ombudsman and university professor, told the AP.
He accused Morales' leftist government of leveraging Bolivia's legal system against political opponents but of being lenient with its own activists.
Morales, an ethnic Aymara and Bolivia's first indigenous president, has condemned Alcibia's behavior but has also accused opponents of using the incident to try to stigmatize his party.
Both Alcibia and the woman he is alleged to have mistreated are Quechua, the other dominant ethnicity in Bolivia's highlands.
The video was taken by a security camera after a holiday party on Dec. 20, and was broadcast on local television and posted to YouTube last week.
It shows the woman being brought into the room in the provincial legislature. She cannot stand up and is placed in a chair, apparently unconscious.
Alcibia enters the room and turns off the lights, lowering the already blurry video quality. He places the woman on the floor, unfastens his belt and appears to have sex with her.
The lights come back on a few minutes later and Alcibia jumps off the woman and pulls up his pants.