The trial over allegations of sexual assault on the TV show,Big Brother, has been put on hold just as soon as it began because the victim is reportedly suffering from “serious psychiatric problems”.
Jose Maria Lopez Perez stands accused of sexually assaulting Carlota Prado inside the Spanish Big Brother house in the municipality of Guadalix de la Sierra, which is located in the north Madrid region.
The alleged assault took place during the 2017 edition of ‘Gran Hermano Revolution’ (‘Big Brother Revolution’ in Spanish), when the defendant is said to have sexually abused the victim while she was unconscious.
The first day of trial took place on Tuesday, 8th February, but the victim’s lawyer asked that it be suspended for the time being because he said his client is suffering from “serious psychiatric problems”.
Prado’s lawyer told the court at the beginning of the hearing that she had already been admitted to a facility voluntarily last December and that “until yesterday” (Monday), she believed she was in a position to testify.
But on the morning of the trial, she reportedly said she was “completely unable” to do so.
The lawyer requested that she be assessed by an expert, a request supported by the Prosecutor’s Office, but the defendant’s lawyers were opposed. The judge ruled in favour of the alleged victim’s lawyer.
The judge deemed the victim’s testimony essential for the trial period.
The last message from the alleged victim on social media said: “Next February 8 will begin what will be the highly anticipated trial. I know perfectly well how this scum operates, so I am going to use health to cover myself by saying some things about myself that are true.”
But she has reportedly been fighting for years, not just to see justice done, but also against numerous accusations that have been levied against her.
In reference to some of the accusations she has faced, she said: “I have not been a drug dealer, nor have I worked for any mafia. I have never prostituted myself. I have never been a drug addict. I have never killed anyone.”
The defendant, Jose Maria Lopez Perez, faces two and half years in prison and a 6,000 Euro fine.
The Gran Hermano production company, Zeppelin, is also attending the trial, as a witness and as a party with civil liability, meaning that should the defendant be unable to pay the fine, that responsibility will fall to the production company to pay it.
During her time in the Big Brother house in 2017, Carlota Prado met another of the contestants, Jose Maria Lopez Perez, whom she started a romantic relationship with.
She accuses him of having raped her after a party in the house, where they consumed alcohol and she ended up unconscious.
The TV programme informed viewers during a live broadcast that they had expelled Lopez Perez for “intolerable behaviour”, and they encouraged Prado to leave the house temporarily.
She says the producers showed her a 10-minute video the following day in which “it is perfectly clear that he takes advantage of me in the room and that I am unconscious”.
She regretted that the programme showed her the video without warning her about what she was going to see, saying at the time: “There should have been a person by my side, a psychologist.”
Prado left the show temporarily before returning to it, but she says the producers hid the real reason for Lopez Perez’s dismissal from the show from the public.
She said at the time: “I remember that inside the house, they wouldn’t let me talk about what had happened, even my fellow contestants were forbidden from talking about it in my absence.”
According to Prado, the reality show reported the case to the Spanish Civil Guard in 2017, but she said she did not press charges at the time because “part of her family was not in Spain and she wanted to talk to them”.
It is currently unclear when the alleged victim will be able to attend trial.