Chilean filmmaker sentenced to five years in prison for sexual harassment

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SANTIAGO – Chilean director Nicolas Lopez, one of the country’s most high-profile filmmakers, was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for sexually assaulting two actresses.

The sentence matched the prosecutor’s request after the court convicted him in late April. In that ruling, the court acquitted Lopez of rape because the judges had determined that there was not enough evidence.

The filmmaker insisted that he was innocent of any wrongdoing. His lawyers wanted a lesser sentence, saying he should have received two 61-day sentences so he would not have to spend time behind bars.

The prosecution alleges that Lopez used his position to commit crimes committed between 2004 and 2016, taking advantage of victim meetings to “attack” victims.

When he was first charged, in June 2018, Lopez was the Chilean filmmaker who achieved the greatest success at the box office.

The 39-year-old director was known for the “Cue Pena Tu Vida” trilogy as well as films including “Promidio Rojo” and “Sin Filto”. Lopez successfully entered the Mexican market with “Dulles Familia”, which premiered in May 2019.

During the trial, prosecutors said Lopez took several months to hand over his cell phone to investigators and did so after deleting 2,700 messages from messaging platform WhatsApp. Law enforcement was able to retrieve messages where the filmmaker cited examples from which he was charged.

Lopez’s judicial investigation began in mid-2018 after local newspaper El Mercurio published a story in which eight women, including three actresses, accused him of harassment and abuse.

Other actresses came out in support of her defense.

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