Local leader of far-right party Vox in Lleida arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse
José Antonio Ortiz could appear in court on Wednesday evening to face charges of abuse against disabled people and allegedly minors
A leader of Vox in Catalonia has been arrested for suspected sexual crimes, believed to have been committed against disabled and under-age people.
José Antonio Ortiz, head of the branch of the far-right political party in Lleida, western Catalonia, was put under arrest by Catalan police, who searched his office on Tuesday.
The investigation is still in its early stages, but it is possible that Ortiz might be brought before a judge as soon as Wednesday evening, according to sources close to the case.
The Catalan News Agency (ACN) understands that the alleged victims are male, and while the disabled people are adults, the police intervened after receiving reports of sexual abuse committed against minors.
Lleida-based newspapers are reporting that Ortiz offered residents at the Aspros Foundation for people with physical disabilities €5 bribes for various favours including oral sex.
Vox have issued a statement confirming that Ortiz’s membership has been suspended "until the facts become clear or an informed decision can be made".
Ortiz stood as a party candidate for the Senate at the 2016 general election and previously represented recently dissolved Platform for Catalonia in Lleida mayoral elections.