“It is shameful that Mari Luz’s father has brought himself to complain,” was the reaction of Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCann couple, in response to the request from Juan Jose Cortés that the posters with the photo of his daughter beside Madeleine should not be distributed.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Santiago del Valle FROM March 28th 2008
Santiago del Valle ordered to prison as remarkable details of the Mari Luz case emerge By h.b. - Mar 28, 2008 - 2:11 AM
Santiago del Valle and his wife Isabel in 1999 - Photo Canal Sur Television
Santiago del Valle had escaped serving a single day of prison despite being found guilty of child sexual abuse on two previous occasions
Santiago del Valle García, the man arrested in connection with the death of five year old Mari Luz Cortés from Huelva, has been ordered to prison without bail by the judge in Instruction Court One in Huelva on charges of murder and against sexual freedom. The judge also told him that he must also serve the two years and nine month sentence handed down against him in 2006 by Penal Court One in Sevilla for abusing his own daughter.
The judge also ordered prison without bail for Rosa del Valle, his sister who had also been arrested along with his wife and a brother. The wife, Isabel García, was released with charges after making her statement to the Instruction judge and is now reported to be staying outside Huelva province. Santiago and Rosa left the Huelva Provincial Court at a quarter to one this morning, bound for the jail in Huelva.
The stairs in the Santiago del Valle home where it is reported he claims the child fell accidentally - Photo EFE
The body of Mari Luz Cortés was found floating in the Ría de Huelva on 7th March, 54 days after she disappeared from her home in the El Torrejón district of Huelva City during a short trip to the local sweets kiosk.
Meanwhile the General Council for Judicial Power (CGPJ), the body which oversees the judiciary in Spain has opened an investigation as to why the alleged killer of Mari Luz had not served a single day in jail, despite two prison sentences against him.
The latest was the firm 2 year 9 month sentence handed down against him by Penal Court One in Sevilla for the sexual abuse of his own five year old daughter.
There was a second earlier sentence also, for two years in jail, handed down for the sexual abuse of a nine year old girl who he surprised on the stairs of her home, which he also somehow escaped serving.
It appears the official reason was that he was ‘whereabouts unknown' and had also appealed against the second sentence which had allowed him to avoid being placed inside. He had claimed that it was a gymnastics teacher who had abused his daughter, and not him, presenting a fake medical report at the time to support his case.
The court documents from Sevilla at the time make dramatic reading. Público quotes them as saying ‘On several occasions the accused, dropping his trousers, would make his daughter touch his member with her hands, and on other occasions he would masturbate while he touched her genital region.
The mother was often present while this took place, and despite the opposition of the child who complained to her father that it hurt, never did anything to stop it taking place’.
The court documents note that the mother, Isabel García, has an I.Q. of only 47, and she was clearly under the manipulative influence of her husband.
The Sevilla court documents also indicate that Santiago del Valle suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, but also that the judge considered that when he abused his daughter he knew exactly what he was doing.
The couple’s two daughters, now aged 9 and 15, are in the care of foster families.
There is also a third case of a 13 year old girl in Gijón, against whom he was handed down a distancing order after he had been chatting to her on the internet and proposed sexual relations. The girl’s mother discovered the plan and informed the police in that case.
The Government Delegate for Andalucía, Juan José López Garzón, commented that it was not for the police or the government to comment on the situation, and he was not going to make a judgement. He called for calm from the local population.
However López Garzón did not deny that there was a search and capture order in place against Santiago del Valle since 2006.
It appears that the Police investigators into the Mari Luz case knew nothing of this however, and were unaware that he lived less than 100 metres away from where she disappeared.
However the local residents of this tight-knit community did know about Santiago del Valle’s past, and a few hours after Mari Luz vanished they had informed the missing girl’s parents. El Mundo reports that several people from the neighbourhood, including Mari Luz’s father, Juan José, and some of her uncles, forced their way into Santiago del Valle’s home, taking some papers on the same day that the child had vanished, knocking down the door in search of the youngster.
This led the man who is now charged with the child’s murder to call the police for help.
The police went to the home and initially thought it was a simple case of breaking and entering, deciding to put off making full enquires until the next day. When they returned, Santiago del Valle and his family had gone, and it was only some time later that police joined the dots in the case and realised that they were dealing with a known paedophile with a previous record.
VIDEO Protestors outside the court in Huelva yesterday