Francisco Javier Almeida, the 55-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting and killing Álex, a nine-year-old boy, on October 28, 2021 in Lardero (La Rioja), has a very imprecise memory of what happened that day.
As he confessed this Monday in the trial at the Provincial Court of Logroño, Almeida managed to get the minor to accompany him to his home, they both entered the bedroom and there he sexually abused him (although he has maintained that the child voluntarily provided himself and that he did not force it).
What happened next is what he has claimed not to remember well.
According to his statement, the little boy began to scream and he threw his hands on him: "I covered his mouth and I no longer remember.
Something happened”, he said.
"I had no intention of attacking him or killing him," he added before the popular jury.
He then took his victim in his arms and left the house, according to him, "to ask for help and take him to the hospital."
At that time, he has assured, Álex "was alive."
He “Noticed that he was breathing”.
Almeida says he has "a cloud" in his head that prevents him from remembering all the details of the crime.
Just as he has provided details of the sexual assault on the minor, he has avoided clarifying how the violent death occurred.
"That day I drank a lot," he said.
He has even stated: “That person who has done that is not me;
he has the same name as me, he has the same clothes as me, but it's not me”, suggesting that he was alienated.
According to him, he had emptied five liters of beer.
At that time, he recounted, he lived "isolated" in Lardero and was "quite lost" since he was paroled from prison a few months earlier, after 20 years behind bars for another sexual assault and murder.
The events occurred around eight in the afternoon on October 28, 2021 in Lardero.
Almeida approached Álex, who was celebrating Halloween in a playground dressed up as the character of the girl from
She managed to take him to his house, where, according to the Prosecutor's Office, she raped and strangled him.
When he was leaving his house with the minor's body in his arms, he was arrested.
The prosecutor, the family, and the popular prosecution, which is exercised by the Clara Campoamor association, request that he be sentenced to permanent reviewable prison, the maximum sentence contemplated in the Penal Code.
"My memory is somewhat cloudy"
Almeida has followed the accusation's stories, full of heartbreaking episodes, without flinching.
He has agreed to answer questions from the prosecutor and the parties, albeit often with evasive answers.
When he has been questioned about how he killed the boy, he has always claimed not to remember what happened.
“I have something cloudy [the memory]”, he has insisted.
To questions from his defense, Almeida has stressed that he could have acted under the effects of alcohol, since he had drunk "a lot" because at that time in his life "he was lost, like a zombie."
“I think I don't remember because of the alcohol.
Sometimes I lose connection with reality”, he declared.
An agent of the Civil Guard has tried to dismantle this theory by assuring later that the defendant's breath "did not smell of alcohol."
The defendant has denied that he was sitting in the park where the children played that afternoon.
He has also assured that he "never" told Álex that he had pets and birds in his house to get the child to accompany him to his home.
"I don't know how I was able to convince him," he said.
Instead, he has recounted how she abused him.
They went into the bedroom and he lowered his pants and boxers.
"I did not use violence," he said.
To a question from the lawyer for the private prosecution, Almeida said that at first the boy "did not want to drop his pants, but later he did."
"Did he put his penis in his mouth?" the prosecutor asked.
“Yes, but I didn't feel myself ejaculating.
I did not force him ”, Almeida replied.
What happened after?
"Álex started to scream, I put my hands on him and I don't know more."
Did you forcefully put your hands on his neck?
"I don't remember, I don't remember," she has insisted.
“I covered his mouth and I no longer remember.
After the alleged attack, Almeida grabbed the child and left his home.
According to his testimony, he intended to "ask for help and take him to the hospital" because he, in his opinion, "was alive."
"He lost consciousness, but I noticed that he was breathing", he has declared.
Police and Civil Guard agents intercepted him as he was heading up the stairs to the garage: “I didn't know he was deceased.
I saw the police and handed him over."
The Judicial Police sergeant who investigated the case has stated that he did not have the feeling that the defendant was drunk when he was arrested.
"We were struck by the fact that he was wearing his pants fly down," he said.
And he has specified that there were "injuries coinciding with a possible strangulation" on the child's neck, in addition to other injuries from having exerted "a high degree of violence" against him.
"Álex had no means of defending himself at all," he added, since he barely weighed 28 kilos, in front of an alleged attacker who measures 1.86 and weighs about 88 kilos.
The only question that he has refused to answer has been one formulated by the prosecution lawyer, who has described Almeida as "a recurring criminal."
"It's not the first time he's done it, right?" She asked him.
"I'm not going to answer that," the defendant has settled.
Almeida was sentenced in 2001 to 30 years in prison for the murder and sexual assault of a real estate agent in 1998 in Logroño.
He finished his sentence on August 17 of this year, but in April 2020 he agreed to the third degree of prison with the opposition of the majority of the members of the Treatment Board of the El Dueso prison (Cantabria).
This man, moreover, had already been sentenced in 1993 to seven years in prison for sexual assault on a minor.