The scandal over the spy camera that David Nalbandian's ex-partner found in his apartment added a new chapter on Thursday. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Araceli Torrado and allowed the appeal of the ruling that dismissed the woman's complaint against the former tennis player. Now the Justice will have to listen to the victim and then make a decision on the restrictive measures she requested for her ex-partner.
Nalbandian, a former world No. 3 and winner of 11 ATP titles, is accused of sexual harassment, harassment and home invasion. He was reported by his ex-partner in July when he went to the City's Office of Victim and Witness Assistance.
But the city's Public Prosecutor's Office twice shelved the complaint, judicial sources told Clarín, and the judge dismissed the lawsuit's requests for evidentiary and precautionary measures.
Torrado's lawyer, Martin Olari Ugrotte, appealed the decision and the decision of the Chamber was pending. On Thursday, it was learned that Chamber 3 of the Criminal and Contraventional Court of Appeals decided to allow the appeal and revoke the resolution that archived the case against Nalbandian.
In addition, the judges ordered that the complainant be heard, recognizing her right to continue advancing the investigation.
Araceli Torrado recorded the former tennis player to ask him if he was the one who installed a device in his room. Nalbandian was charged with sexual harassment, harassment and home invasion.
In particular, the chamber member Ignacio Mahiques stressed that the American Convention on Human Rights "recognizes the right of the victim to be heard, to participate actively in the process" and that in this case "this is manifested with greater intensity because it is framed in a complaint for alleged episodes constituting gender violence under the psychological modalities, and digital, which determines the application of international standards on the subject guided by the mandate of enhanced due diligence."
The case will continue with the impetus of Araceli's complaint, until a sentence is issued that determines Nalbandian's responsibility in the case.
What Nalbandian Said About His Ex's Complaint
After the scandal was announced, Nalbandian spoke to Clarín and was categorical: "There is already a judge's ruling, take a good look before you speak," referring to the decision of the Justice to file the complaint and not grant the requests of the model's lawyer.
But when asked about the reason why the case has now come to light, he went further: "They want money and fame, basically."
Clarín consulted the Buenos Aires Public Prosecutor's Office about the complaint and this was the response: "The complaint was filed twice. An ex-partner filed a complaint, and it was shelved. The Chamber's Prosecutor's Office reviewed and again filed it off. The prosecution maintains that begging to return is not harassment due to gender-based violence."
As part of the complaint, Torrado presented a video of the moment in which his brother dismantles the ventilation duct in his room and discovers the camera. She also attached Whatsapp audios and a recording of the phone conversation between her and Nalbandian in which he acknowledges the episode.
The camera that Araceli Torrado found in the ventilation duct of her room.
"Do you want me to be honest? We put it on that day. I couldn't see it because I don't know what's wrong with the Internet that you can't see. So I didn't see anything at all," Nalbandian said in the communication, according to the audio accessed by Clarín.
"To what end did you do this? Are you a degenerate who wants to see me in balls when I sleep, are you sick to see me with someone or see if I was wearing? Tell me the story," Torrado asks. "The post is... There are a lot of times I don't understand you. The only intention was to understand you a little more, to empathize a little more in some way," says Nalbandian.
The case against Nalbandian
At the time, Torrado said that he had begun a relationship with Nalbandian in September 2022 and that the first few months had been good, while their meetings alternated between his home in Rosario and that of the former tennis player in Córdoba. But that all changed when she moved to Buenos Aires.
The victim said that it was Nalbandian who proposed renting an apartment to share at his own expense, and that he began to harass her and try to control her social life, even trying, according to her testimony, to "try to have sex, in a rough way, with forced situations" during a trip of the couple to the United States.
The chats between Nalbandian and his Torrado after he admitted to putting a spy camera on him.
In June of this year, the young woman found a surveillance camera with the ability to transmit in real time hidden in the ventilation of the apartment she shared with Nalbandian, who later confessed to being responsible for that device, through a Whatsapp conversation.
In that presentation, Torrado defined the former tennis player as "someone jealous and excessively controlling" and requested protection measures such as the prohibition of approach and contact with her.
David Nalbandian is accused of setting up a camera to spy on his ex.
Olari Ugrotte said that "several months ago we filed a complaint for harassment and harassment before the Buenos Aires Contraventional Justice, but the Public Prosecutor's Office filed the complaint without discussing the facts."
"We, as a plaintiff, again asked the court of first instance for protection and evidence. The judge decided to reject them and on October 25 we appealed to the Buenos Aires Chamber of Misdemeanours and Contraventions, from where the last news we had was on November 6, when we were notified that the request was in the general secretariat," he said.
He explained that what they are asking for is that "Justice guarantees the safety of Araceli, who as a result of the events had to leave the home they shared and seek refuge elsewhere; That is why we are calling for a restriction of approach and prohibition of contact."
In addition, he explained, "to advance in the investigation we requested the search of Nalbandian's homes to look for electronic devices that can store images captured by the camera, since the athlete recognized in telephone communications that he had had that equipment placed and the telephone companies confirmed that the line from which he communicated is in his name."
In that sense, he stressed that since the first presentation they are asking for Araceli to be called to testify, but "that has not happened yet."
"In the report of the Office of Victim Assistance she tells many things but it is not incorporated into the file and also in a statement you can advance in many questions, which for now the Justice has not asked," he remarked.
David Nalbandian and Araceli Torrado in February, when they were leaving. Photo: Movilpress.
According to the lawyer, for his client "this brought many upheavals in her life, from moving to reformulating many things that she had to change" and said that there are other episodes that the young woman has to resolve if she wants to move forward.
The lawyer also pointed out that last October a civil mediation was convened in the framework of a lawsuit for damages that is being processed before the national civil jurisdiction and that neither the defendant nor his defense attorney were present in that instance.