50 years for the rape and murder of Dr. María Luisa Cedeño
QCOSTARICA – On Friday, the Tribunal Penal del Segundo Circuito Judicial de San José, in Goicoechea, handed down the verdict in the seven-month trial for the rape and murder of Dr. María Luisa Cedeño, on July 20, 2020, at the La Mansion Inn Hotel in Quepos, Puntarenas.
The court found Teodoro Herrera, guilty and sentenced to 18 years in prison for rape and 32 years in prison for the murder of the doctor, while it ordered the immediate release from custody of two other suspects, the Costa Rican Luis Carlos Miranda Izquierdo and Harry Bodaan, a Dutch national, acquitted of both crimes by “indubio pro reo principle” (doubt).
The three had been charged with the rape and murder of the 43-year-old anesthesiologist, who had decided to vacation, with her dog Mafalda, at the hotel run by Miranda and owned by Bodaan.
During the trial, a forensic pathologist explained that Cedeño’s cause of death was head trauma due to violent physical and sexual assaults.
Although in Costa Rica legislation does not classify the case as femicide since in the country only death committed by partners or ex-partners is classified in this way, the case does correspond to the expanded definition of “femicide” that emerges from the Convention of Belém do Pará (where it was adopted in 1994): the murder of a woman for the fact of being one.
The Prosecutor’s thesis was that the three men acted jointly and in a coordinated manner to abuse and murder the doctor, because due to the very atrocity of the crime, it suggested that it could not be the work of a single person.
The Court determined that Herrera, a Nicaraguan national, although he no longer worked in the hotel, was living there, committed the crime of rape and murder.
Friday afternoon, the court made up of judges César Palma (center, who presides over it), Sandra Arrieta and Rodrigo Salas, handed down the verdict live on national television
In addition to the criminal verdict, the three-judge panel made up of Sandra Arrieta, Rodrigo Salas and César Palmai, n the civil action for compensation, Herrera and the Hotel La Mansion Inn, now called Oceans Two, were ordered to pay ¢795 million for material damages, ¢80 million for moral damages, and another ¢53 million for moral damages to the victim, in favor of the parents and siblings of the victim.
“The first thing that must be established is that there was a lot of technical-scientific evidence linking Teodoro, not only with the specific place where the events occurred, but also with the victim in this case,” Palma explained while reading, on live television, the full written text of the verdict.
In the case of the other two defendants, the main evidence presented by the Prosecutor’s Office was three bite marks on the doctor’s body. According to the forensic analysis, it was not ruled out that Bodaan and Miranda caused the marks found on the body of the victim.
Palma explained that the evidence presented (bite marks) does not meet the basic elements to convict, and that according to international standards, a dental opinion cannot link a person with bite injuries with total certainty.
“The Court must indicate that unlike with Teodoro Herrera, there are no elements of a technical-scientific nature that link Luis Carlos Miranda with the scene of the crime or the body of the victim,” explained the judge. The same criteria was applied to Bodaan.
Prosecutor Edgar Ramírez, who handled the case together with Grettel Rosales, had for a prison sentence of 255 years cumulative against the three defendants.
The decision handed down on Friday has been received with mixed feelings, among them that a travesty of justice had occurred, that three people were involved, who according to the data collected by the OIJ and the Prosecutor, ended the life of the doctor.
and they also abused her in the most cruel and inhumane way possible… So here are the photos of the three of them so you can get to know them. in the ‘inhumane” death of the doctor