Pen portraits: Portuguese child abuse defendants
- 3 September 2010
- From the section Europe
The following are pen portraits of five of the defendants jailed after a marathon trial in Portugal for abusing children in the care of the state-run Casa Pia home in Lisbon.
Born in 1942, Carlos Cruz was a popular Portuguese TV presenter and producer.
He fronted a number of successful shows during his three-decade career in the media business.
So successful was the married father-of-two, he was known in media circles as "Mr Television".
He was once voted Portugal's most popular television personality.
He was arrested in 2003.
According to the court, he paid for sex with one 14-year-old boy, and abused at least one other.
On Friday, Cruz immediately dismissed the verdict as a "mistake" and the result of "a vendetta".
He has received a seven-year sentence from the court.
Jorge Ritto, 73, is a decorated Portuguese career diplomat.
He was also an ambassador to the UN cultural organisation Unesco in Paris, retiring in 2002.
However, it is reported that in 1970 Ritto was sent home from a posting in Germany after an incident involving a young boy in a public park.
It has also been reported that in 1982 three children, missing from the Casa Pia, were discovered in an apartment he used.
He says they were not sexually abused, and denies any part in the conspiracy.
But the court has now sentenced him to six years and eight months in prison.
Carlos Silvino, known as Bibi, is a 54-year-old former driver and a former pupil at the Casa Pia.
He is the only defendant who has confessed to some of the crimes at the children's home.
He also incriminated other defendants.
Before the case was made public, other teachers at the school tried to have Silvino removed from Casa Pia after accusations he had raped a young girl at another institution before his transfer, the New York Times reported in 2003.
Silvino was originally brought to work at the school in 1974. Other teachers said within weeks of his arrival there were accusations he had raped boys in Casa Pia's Lisbon campus.
In 1989 he was reportedly expelled from the school, but after a two-year legal battle that went to Portugal's Supreme Court, he was reinstated.
According to prosecutors he picked children out of the school's dormitories and raped them. He also selected children, with the help of the school's doctor, and drove them to the houses of those accused of sexually abusing the children.
He has been sentenced to 18 years for his crimes.
Joao Ferreira Diniz
Joao Ferreira Diniz worked as a doctor for the school.
He helped select the children - usually children who were deaf and unable to speak - who would be sold for sex.
He checked them for sexually transmitted diseases and helped Silvino take them to the clients, it has been reported.
He would drive his red Ferrari to Casa Pia football matches where he also singled out boys to abuse.
During the initial stages of the trial, he reportedly refused to answer some questions about the victims citing "patient-doctor confidentiality".
He was accused of 18 cases of child sexual abuse.
He has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Manuel Abrantes is the former ombudsman and deputy director of the Casa Pia school in Lisbon.
He was accused of 51 cases of abuse, providing children for sex, and embezzlement.
He was convicted of 16 cases of abuse.
At the trial Abrantes told the court he did not believe there was a "cabal" of abusers at work in the institution, but that some "very strange things" had happened, which had been carried out by "strangers".
He said the accusations had ruined his life "instantly".
He was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.