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San José, Costa Rica,  Thursday Edition
December 14, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 207
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Bacteria could have killed six premature babies
at Hospital Calderón Guardia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Calderón Guardia hospital reported that it has stopped childbirth services as a preventive measure, due to the presence of bacteria at the hospital center.

The bacterium, known as Serrata liquefaciens, has been detected in the hospital for the first time. It has the peculiarity of inhabiting the intestine, according to Marcela Hernández, an infectious disease specialist at the National Children's Hospital.

According to Carmen Zaglul, head of the Neonatal Service, this outbreak coincided with the death of six premature babies born with less than 33 weeks of gestation, with weights ranging between 700 grams and 1,800 grams and those who required mechanical ventilation, parental feeding and were in conditions of great vulnerability.

Doctors are analyzing the deaths to see if they are related to the presence of the bacteria.  On Wednesday, epidemiologists and infectologists from the Calderón Guardia and the National Children's Hospital analyzed the situation and issued control measures which were immediately implemented.

Maternity services will reopen next Tuesday or as soon as experts finish their assessments

AM Costa Rica wire services photo
Authorities claims this is the first time the Serrata liqufaciens bacteria has been found in the hospital.

With the support of the Intra-hospital Infections and Epidemiology Committee, a series of measures were adopted to maximize disinfection in different hospital areas.

Among the actions that are being taken are the cleaning and deep disinfection of the birth and neonatology areas, strict isolation and restriction of visits.

Former top magistrate could face
40 years in prison on rape charge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Public Ministry requested a sentence of 40 years in prison for the ex-judge of the First Judicial Chamber, Óscar González, who is facing a trial for three alleged rapes of a female judge which occurred when she was his student and with whom he had a relationship.

The petition was made on Wednesday afternoon by the prosecutor Floribeth Rodríguez, who represents the state in the debate that is being held about the González in Heredia.

Rodriguez, who also requested six months of preventive detention for the former magistrate, told the court that she is asking for 10 years for each crime of rape and 10 years for an attempted rape.

This case goes back to 2012, when a judge surnamed Quirós, who at that time was working in González's office, denounced him for alleged harassment before the court and for rape before the Prosecutor's Office.

In mid-2013, in an eight hour session and 32 rounds of voting, and after repeated appeals by González against the procedure, the Supreme Court agreed to dismiss the magistrate for very serious faults. One year later, on July 28, 2014, 53 legislators voted in favor of revoking his appointment as magistrate.

According to the criminal accusation, the sexual assaults took place between 2001 and 2009, when, "the student-teacher relationship evolved into a romantic relationship characterized by sexual encounters.”

In her concluding statement, prosecutor Rodríguez explained that the victim contracted the papilloma virus due to the sexual attacks and assured the court that she was the victim of a cycle of violence.

"She was in a cycle of domestic violence that meant she could not put limits on the relationship, even though the victim was physically, emotionally and sexually abused. This led her to require psychological therapy. This is now the only way to stop the matter by filing the complaint,” said the prosecutor.

Poder Judicial photo
The rape case got a lot of media coverage once it was made public.

The victim reported and explicitly described the attacks in her accusatory denunciation. She stated that two of the alleged rapes occurred in a motel in San José and one in an apartment in Heredia.

According to the indictment of the Prosecutor's Office, the judge raped Quirós in that apartment in 2009 after she refused to have sexual relations because she was menstruating.

"She did not shout or ask for help (at the motel), however, the fact that a victim does not ask for help does not mean that she is consenting. He used the victim as a sexual object and used her only for sexual intercourse. While the offender really thought of it as a love relationship," explained the prosecutor.

The trial against González began on October 9, and the victim testified in a closed session.

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