A man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl close to him claimed his innocence Monday at his jury trial. Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete accuses his whistleblower of having threatened to file a false complaint against him if he refused to pay for his cosmetic surgery.

“She got angry. She was really complexed and she was afraid of losing her boyfriend. She wanted cosmetic surgery. If I didn’t call her back, she would complain about sex. [She said], “I’m completely desperate. You have until tomorrow to give me an answer, otherwise I will ruin your life,” the 42-year-old told the jury.

Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and incitement to sexual touching of a minor over a period of several years. At the start of the trial, Victoria*, now 16, detailed the extremely degrading abuse “Miguel” subjected her to when she was 11 and 12 years old.

“What I went through was disgusting. It’s disgusting. It is unfair. I was robbed of my childhood,” the teenager said in tears.

Blowjobs, cunnilingus, penetrative sex: the teenager told the jury several separate episodes, including one where the defendant celebrated the loss of the teenager’s virginity. Victoria notably recounted having been penetrated in the anus, an attack which took place in the garage where the accused worked.

“It hurt. I wanted him to stop. He said I was weak. He said, “It’s nothing, you’ll get used to it.” [After] he told me to get on my knees. He ejaculated in my mouth. Made me feel dirty,” Victoria described.

“No”, “No”, “No”: Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete has denied each of these alleged assaults outright. He never assaulted or touched the teenager, he repeated to the jury, during his interrogation led by his lawyer Me Marc Labelle. The Chilean of origin spoke in Spanish during his testimony which was translated to the jury.

During much of the alleged events, between July 2018 and May 2020, Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete suffered from balanitis – a disease caught during a trip to Cuba – which prevented him from having more than one sexual relationship per month, according to his words. He underwent surgery in May 2020 to undergo penile circumcision.

In 2020 and 2021, Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete says he spoke very little with Victoria, between about once a month and once every two months. On February 1, 2021, he was the one who called Victoria. It was during this 23-minute call that the teenager allegedly asked her to pay for her cosmetic surgery.

“She told me about her issues with her boyfriend, that she wanted to have cosmetic surgery. Her mother said no. She talked to me about money, if I could lend her money to do the cosmetic surgery, “says the accused.

This threat, Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete did not take it “very seriously”. “It was a teenage problem,” he said.

In cross-examination at the start of the trial, Victoria denied asking for money or discussing cosmetic surgery with the defendant.

Victoria claims to have been sexually assaulted twice in the garage where the accused worked. If he denies having committed such gestures, Miguel Antonio Abarzua Poblete agrees that he has already found himself alone with the teenager in the garage on two occasions in 2017 and 2019.

Me Hussein Hassan and Me Nadine Haviernick represent the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, while Me Marc Labelle and Me Claudia Doyle defend the accused.