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Brother Marino, the Marist accused of abuse who massaged the students and changed schools for 40 years


The pedophilia scandal in the Marists uncovered by EL PAÍS since June, with accusations so far in 21 schools against 37 religious and a layman, and which the order has been investigating ever since, offers a new history of abuse. Cesáreo Gabaráin, the star priest of mass music accused of at least 17 people, also Brother Marino González. This professor, who is already advanced in age, used to work as a psychologist at the centers, where he directed a psycho-pedagogical cabinet. He alternated his presence in two schools in Madrid, Chamberí and San José del Parque, between 1960 and 2000, and also ended up in Toledo in the years ninety. In all of them there are accusations of abuse against him, according to the testimonies collected by this newspaper, and the comments on his conduct were public. Consulted by this newspaper, the order now admits that it has already had two complaints against Marino González in the past, although it refuses to give dates or details about them. It only specifies that one was archived and does not give information about the other. It does not clarify if he was convicted or if it is a case that is still open. In any case, he assures that then he already took measures against him and has been removed from contact with minors.

The truth is that there are testimonies against this religious in social networks since 2011. Several former students of Marist schools have publicly denounced that he touched the students. One of them even tried to locate the most affected through a comment on Facebook that said: “Association of victims of Br. Marino. (Write your name)…”. In that same social network this Marist has a profile, which he has not updated since January of 2019, and on his wall staff interspersed posts about their religious activity with others about sex and erotic chats. The Marists are keeping an investigation open on this Marist brother as a result of the information published, but they have not wanted to clarify whether or not he has recognized the accusations. The Iberian province of the order, which includes Madrid and Toledo, only admits that it has received in its email of attention to the victims, protecciondelmenor@maristasiberica.es, a message from a witness of a case.

The first information about Brother Marino published in EL PAÍS last 24 July has brought other testimonies to light for two details: he acted as a psychologist and offered to give massages to relax the nerves. The Marists report that he was “a graduate in Psychology and a graduate in Pedagogy.” Two former students who accuse him of abuse at the Madrid school in Chamberí and in Toledo, both in the 1990s, relate the same modus operandi. The Toledo case occurred in 1990. “It happened 30 years ago , but it has always been there. It is a wound that is there. I’m still having a hard time overcoming it and it continues to give me problems, ”says a former student from the city’s Marist school, who prefers to remain anonymous. He says that what hurts him the most, in addition to the trauma it has left him, is that the teachers and the school did nothing, when “it was a known thing, because it came from other schools.” Brother Marino arrived in Toledo towards 1990 from Madrid. “You could see right away that he liked boys because he was very nice, and it happened to girls. One day I was in class, he came in and asked the teacher for permission to let me out. I left class and was with another student. He led the two of us to a meeting room there. So, he laid my partner on a table and told him that he was going to give him a relaxation massage, to help him focus on his studies. He loosened his clothes and began to fondle him, to reach into him, touching his private parts. It was very strange, everything in front of me. ”

Base de datos abusos en la Iglesia EL PAÍS

A few weeks later, his parents went to see the teachers and while he was waiting in the corridors, Brother Marino appeared. “He took me to some classrooms under the dining room and told me that he was going to give me a relaxation massage, that I looked very nervous.” He laid him on his back on some desks and the scene was repeated. “His modus operandi was to start doing the massage to gradually reach the private parts. He began to give me a massage, he rubbed my parts under my underwear. Then he lifted his shirt and put his belly on top of me, saying something like ‘Are you sorry? You feel it?”. Remember that it was dark and the moonlight came through the windows illuminating the darkness of the room. When he left there, he says, he refused to admit it: “He told me that that had not happened to me. Years later, with the news of La Manada de Pamplona, ​​I perfectly understood the victim: paralyzed, incredulous that this could be happening to him ”. The following year he went to Madrid to study and lived in a college. One day he found a note in his locker: Marino had called him on the phone, he wanted to talk to him. He did not return the call, but another day the phone rang again and it was him: “He asked me if we could meet at the college in a discreet way, if it was a quiet place.” But he managed to get rid of it. He adds that at least one other colleague of his stopped his feet “when he wanted to start rubbing him.”

Another accusation from the 1970s has already arisen in the Marists of Toledo, against a brother named Javier. After the publication of the case in this newspaper last July, the school wrote a letter to the families to inform that it had opened an investigation and in which it expressed its “pain” and its “condemnation of these events.” “We apologize to the victims for not having been able to protect them, to take care of them, and for not having adequately managed these situations. For our institution, the priority is the victims, we believe in their word and we are at their disposal for whatever they need, ”the circular pointed out.

Marino González, en una foto de archivo.
Marino González, in a stock photo.

“I haven’t even told my family. I have not been able to tell it so far ”

The former student of the second case, who does not want to reveal his identity either, studied COU in Chamberí in the course 1992 – 1993, I had 17 years. Now you have 46. Marino was his Religion teacher. “I had a shy character, I came from another city and it was the first time that I lived away from home, to start university in Madrid the following year. It was difficult for me to relate, he realized it and wanted to take advantage of it, ”he says. In this case, the priest did manage to sneak into the residence where he lived. One day he appeared there and together they went up to the boy’s room: “He told me that I looked very tense and that he was going to give me a massage to relax. I lay down on the floor, he started to take off my clothes and left me in my underwear. He began to massage me with rosemary oil, from a small bottle that he always carried with him. The smell actually reminds me of what happened and I can’t bear it. Then Marino himself undressed, remained in a T-shirt and underpants. He rubbed against me, stuck his finger in my anus. At first I did not interpret it as abuse, I was very confused and it was not until years later that I realized it. I have not told my family. I have not been able to tell it until now. ”

Brother Marino returned a second time, but accompanied by another person. He does not know if he was religious or not. “It was a very strange moment when the two of them appeared in the room. I got a little scared. It gave me the impression that it took him to present me as a trophy, as if this other one was also in the game. He was about 60 years, with glasses and White hair”. They talked for a while and then the other one left. Then, he says, the abuse was repeated as on the previous occasion. Later he finished the course, changed his residence and did not see him again.

In both cases, the priest boasted with these students that he had good contacts with an admissions officer at the Pontifical University of Comillas and to be able to plug in candidates who did not reach the admission cut-off mark, who could thus take the entrance exam. The victim from Madrid remembers that for a time he insisted that he had to go to study at this university: “I was determined because he said that he knew people there, that he could help me and influence me, but in the end I ignored him.” And there is another common detail: Brother Marino tried to infiltrate their families, get to know them and gain their trust. In the case of the student from Toledo, he learned that the family had an apartment in Madrid and he showed interest: “He asked my brother if it was a discreet place to be able to see each other quietly, with the excuse of helping us concentrate with our studies. He came to ask for a key, but my parents refused ”. In the case of Madrid, he later appeared in the business run by the boy’s parents and introduced himself as a friend of his son. He telephoned him from there to greet him and try to get back in touch.

Fachada del colegio de los maristas de Chamberí en la calle Rafael Calvo, en Madrid.
Facade of the College of the Marists of Chamberí in the Rafael Calvo street, in Madrid. Olmo Calvo

The reconstruction of the comings and the coming of the religious from each college is complex, and it is probable that their presence simultaneously in the centers of the capital. The Marists also do not give any information about their trajectory to clarify it. “We will communicate this data only to the victims if they ask us for it, not to the media. Victims are our priority. Then if they want to share it with the media is their decision, “explains a spokeswoman. The data collected so far indicates that Brother Marino was around 1960 in the center of Chamberí, where he remained until 1968, approximately. “Something happened and it disappeared,” recalls a former student, Joaquín Tena, from 60 years. “He selected his favorites and made a foundation called the Prague Children, who wore a little pink cord around their neck. That is why we felt different from others. He was also the tutor of the minibasket team, and I played in the team, but the harassment, the physical and constant closeness of Marino was such that I switched to handball. I had 10 years. I remember the usual touching and sucking, the smell of a cassock. ”

In the following years he appeared in Burgos directing a course on“ psycho-diagnosis and school guidance ”, as published by the Diario de Burgos on 24 from December to 1971. It was an event organized by the Marist School Guidance Service that lasted four days. Around 1971 he returned to the Chamberí school and continued there until the eighties, decade in which it is located in San José del Parque. “It came bounced from Chamberí, where something happened,” says another former student from this center, who recounts how he was famous for summoning students to his office to give them massages: “He would call you in his office to see if you had relaxation problems. And he took advantage ”. In the nineties he appeared in the Marist school in Toledo, and then again in Chamberí. At the end of the decade it stops again in San José del Parque, at least until 2000. Everywhere with the same fame, according to the testimonies collected.

Franci sco Javier García already told EL PAÍS last August how the chaplain of the Chamberí school, Cesáreo Gabaráin, abused him in the early 1970s, but also ran into Brother Marino. He assures that his fame was known from previous years: “My older brother, who took me out 10 years, he told me that in his time you had to be careful with him ”. In 1971, says the former student, this Marist organized a consultation pass in the cabinet He directed for those students who had diction problems. “I signed up to escape from class. We were several in a corridor and he called us one by one. When you came in I asked you what your problem was, I said that people had difficulty understanding me because I spoke very fast. He put his hand on my genitals and said, ‘Where are you charging?’ I didn’t understand the expression, and he added: ‘See? Loads left. ‘ Then he told me to speak with a pencil between my teeth to force me to speak well ”. Another former Marist schoolboy from that time recalls that “he was quite obsessed with sex.” “In the tutorials in his office he asked you if you masturbated, how often and other questions of a sexual nature. He said he was a psychologist and that sex disturbed our minds. ”

Yes you know any case of sexual abuse that has not seen the light, write us with your complaint to abusos@elpais.es