Five friends between the ages of 21 and 23, colleagues in a small provincial rugby club, were sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime of the young Fernando Báez Sosa, beaten to death three years ago in Argentina, a case that shocked the country.
The ruling against Máximo Thomsen, Ciro Pertossi, Matías Benicelli, Luciano Pertossi and Enzo Comelli, for doubly aggravated homicide, was read yesterday Monday before the convicted in the courtroom in the city of Dolores, at a hearing in which the Baez Sosa’s parents.
Three other young rugby players, Blas Cinalli, Lucas Pertossi and Ayrton Viollaz, were sentenced to 15 years in prison, being considered secondary participants.
The reading of the sentence, agreed unanimously, was broadcast live on television. In Dolores, 220 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, dozens of people expressed their solidarity with the parents of Báez Sosa.
The leader passed out
Thomsen, considered the leader of the group, fainted when he learned of the verdict of perpetuity, the maximum sentence contemplated by Argentine law.
The trial that began on January 2 captivated the country, which had been moved by the crime of the 18-year-old law student, which occurred on January 18, 2020 in Villa Gesell, 370 km south of Buenos Aires. That summer, the convicts vacationed in that seaside resort on the Argentine Atlantic coast, very popular among young people.
That night they were kicked out of a nightclub where a fight had started. In the street, the rugbiers isolated Báez Sosa and attacked him with their fists and kicks, in a beating that caused him death from multiple injuries. “We are satisfied. A new stage in our life begins. It is now that we are going to grieve and learn to live with the pain,” said Graciela Sosa, the victim’s mother, at a press conference after the verdict was announced.
Forgiveness is very difficult
“Forgiving them is very difficult. They knew what they were doing. They enjoyed killing my son, calling him ‘black shit,’” the woman said. “His absence from him is also perpetual and our pain is also perpetual,” she added, referring to the sentence decided by the court against five of the rugby players.
The prosecution had requested life imprisonment for the eight defendants, evoking the “will to kill” on the part of “everyone”, with a “synchronized coordination” that prevented third parties from coming to the aid of Báez Sosa. The young man’s family lawyer, Fernando Burlando, had made the same request.
Asked during the press conference, Silvino Báez, the victim’s father, declined to comment on the fact that three of the defendants received a lesser sentence.
However, Burlando declared that he will appeal in Cassation to ensure that all the sentences are in perpetuity. “The most important thing is that the fact is proven. The three defendants who benefited from 15 years in prison are our main objective, ”he told the press.
During the arguments, the defendants, at times in tears, had expressions such as “I apologize”, “I apologize”, “there was no intention to kill”, “there was no plan (to kill)” and “I am sorry”.