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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

NPP youth leader accused of sexual harassment

Joshua D. Ortiz Díaz (right) allegedly touched the private parts of a 40-year-old woman. in the municipality of Naranjito.

By The Star Staff

The Court of Bayamón late last week filed two criminal charges, for lewd acts and sexual harassment against the president of the Youth Organization of the New Progressive Party (NPP) in Naranjito, Joshua D. Ortiz Díaz, 27 years old, who allegedly touched the private parts of a 40-year-old woman. in the municipality of Naranjito.

The defendant also works in the Municipal Emergency Management Office of that municipality and is trusted by Mayor Orlando Ortiz Chevres, judging by the posts on social networks.

Faced with this unfortunate situation, the president of the municipal committee of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in Naranjito and mayoral candidate, Julián Crespo López, called on the incumbent to report if he knew of the situation and to immediately remove the accused from his party positions “since it is a bad example to have him as a leader of a youth organization. Sexual harassment, in all its forms, is unacceptable and punishable by law.”

From the investigation carried out by agent Bernice Acevedo Morales, under the supervision of Sergeant José Rivera Rivera of the Sexual Crimes Division of the Criminal Investigations Corps of Bayamón, the New Progressive Party leader Ortiz Díaz allegedly touched the victim in her private parts and sent her text messages of a sexual nature. These cases were reported in 2023.

The case was consulted with the prosecutor’s office, who filed two charges for the aforementioned crimes, Ortiz was brought before Judge Catherine Marie Brunnell, who after hearing the evidence found cause for arrest for the crimes, determining a bail of $60,000 dollars, which he provided, being released. The preliminary hearing was scheduled in two weeks, for April 3, 2024 in the Court of Bayamón.

Finally, PDP leader Crespo López pointed out that anyone who has been a victim should contact the Bayamón Sexual Crimes Division at (787) 269-2424 ext. 1610, 1490 or 1493, to receive guidance and access services. In addition, the service line 787-337-3737 is available 24/7 for guidance and help, both by phone and text.

“I respectfully point out to the mayor that he should not wait for the political opposition to tell him how these situations should be handled. You put yourself in a sorry position by not taking immediate action. What an irony that in International Women’s Month we have to see a case of this nature,” she concluded.

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