The arrest of former soccer player Francisco Pedraza Abrilot took place on July 28, 2021. That day, the offensive midfielder with a past in the youth teams of Everton de Viña del Mar and Santiago Wanderers was captured in Bolivia for an old legal case for rape processed in the Court of Guarantee of Linares.
The criminal process that triggered his arrest had begun 7 years earlier. Specifically, it was on June 10, 2014 when the Public Ministry asked the court to formalize -in absence- the athlete who was already outside the national territory on that date.
Indeed, Pedraza Abrilot figured from the beginning as the main suspect in the rape of a minor, an event that occurred during a party held in May 2013 in Linares. His sudden departure to Bolivia in October of that year to continue his football career made him look even more guilty.
The case, after years at a standstill, was only reactivated in March 2017 when the Linares Local Prosecutor’s Office requested the player’s extradition, who in those days was still trying to relaunch his career in highland soccer. The procedure to bring him by force to appear before the Chilean justice system, however, bore fruit only four years later when he was captured by the Bolivian police.
Thus, and after eight months behind bars in the neighboring country, Pedraza was transferred to our country to continue with the process. In that same condition he continued here until August 25 of this year, the day on which the precautionary measure was reduced to night house arrest.
The reason? The guarantee judge considered that -after the provision of a new record- there were not enough arguments to support keeping the accused imprisoned in the Santiago 1 prison. The Public Ministry appealed the resolution and it was the Court of Talca that in a divided ruling confirmed the discount.
Once the former player of Deportes Linares, a club where he was a member when he participated in the party where the crime was perpetrated, was brought to Chile, he was advised by a team of lawyers specialized in the criminal area who would change -at least for now- his fate .
Still in preventive detention, the defendant for rape underwent a DNA comparison that could become key evidence to defend the innocence he claims despite the statements of witnesses and the victim herself who incriminate him.
Indeed, and at the request of the defense led by lawyer Nelson Salas Stevens, the PDI Concepción Regional Criminalistics Laboratory compared the ex-soccer player’s DNA with biological remains raised at the time from the scene of the event. The result? 99.9% incompatibility between samples.
In summary, the document accessed by the BioBioChile Investigation Unit indicates that, based on the genetic analysis carried out, it is “possible to exclude the accused Francisco Pedraza Abrilot as the male individual described in the Biochemical Expert Report No. 169 dated 27 .FEB.014 of the Central Criminalistics Laboratory”.
Read the document:
Asked about the situation, Francisco Pedraza Abrilot assured BBCL Investiga that he was innocent of the crime charged by the Public Ministry, noting that the victim could have been “confused” at the time of making the accusation.
Likewise, he assured that -for logical reasons- the process has brought him serious personal and labor consequences: “It caused me personal damage (…) also to my whole family, irreparable damage.”
The statements of those who were sharing that night with the victim and the accused, however, are forceful. A friend of the young woman declared before the PDI that Pedraza had been surprised by her sister inside the room where the events occurred.
In addition, she claimed to have received $15,000 in cash from Pedraza himself the next day to buy her friend the morning-after pill.
“(…) Since nobody wanted to talk to him, I answered the phone and he told me that he wanted to clear things up with (the victim). I told her that she didn’t want to see him, he tells me that the two of us should go buy the morning after pill and I told him noand I replied that if he wanted I could buy it, so he finally gave me the fifteen thousand pesos and then we left the place.
Prosecutor rules out innocence
Although in the Public Ministry they recognize the validity of the comparative examination that allowed the change of precautionary measure of the accused, they insist that the ex-soccer player is the author of the rape of the then 15-year-old minor.
Contacted by this means, prosecutor Mónica Canepa -specialist in sexual crimes of the Linares Local Prosecutor’s Office- explained that the sample with which the former soccer player’s DNA was compared corresponds to a stain found at the site of the event, specifically in a bed that It belonged neither to the victim nor to the defendant.
“In our opinion, that evidence is not conclusive, because it only excludes it with respect to the fact that that stain on that sheet does not correspond to the accused. From that point of view, I present that this is a fact where he is accused by the affected person as the author, as well as other witnesses who saw him at the time of the events”, remarked the persecutor.
Prosecutor Canepa was confident in the success of the criminal process and announced that they hope to obtain a conviction in an oral trial.
“In this case there are other proceedings that are currently on hold, including some requested by the defense. All these are antecedents that -at the time- we will evaluate for the purpose of accusing. When the extradition was requested, there was a history, in our opinion, that has not changed in terms of his participation in these events, ”he stressed.
Among the pending proceedings mentioned by the prosecutor is a comparative DNA test of another man who was at the scene of the event that day, who would have been the one who first accompanied the young woman to her room.
However, the former player of Deportes Temuco will continue the remaining weeks of the investigation – and probably until the oral trial – under the precautionary measures of night house arrest, national roots and prohibition of approaching the victim.
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