Frey Balbino, hunter of the Augustinians of Valencia, who filmed the children with his Super 8 camera Listen to this article

“Sexual predator” is the term with which its victims and those who see them define them. EL PAS has collected seven evidences against Fray Balbino, now deceased, from three victims and four witnesses. They accused him of abusing at least six children, aged 7 to 12, at the Augustinian Fathers School in Valencia during the 1970s and 1980s. The order has also received another complaint, bringing the alleged victims to at least seven. Frey Balbino, who was a professor at the said school, is one of 251 names of members of the clergy and people of religious institutions included in the report on footfalls in the Spanish Church that this paper gave to the Pope and the Spanish Episcopal Conference. in December 2021.

Fray Balbino had one big hobby: cinema. He had a Super 8 camera with which he used to move around the school filming minors. “They made movies for us in the classroom, on the playground, while we played games,” agrees many at Evidence, who remember it as a lot of fun. Everyone wanted to go out in them. One of his surviving images shows him with a camera in his hand. He also guessed movies in the classroom, an activity that his students really liked, except for the fact that they took advantage of the darkness to do their groping.

Augustinian, who is investigating the case, has contacted some of his victims to apologize, listen to them and make himself available. A family brought religious condemnation to the center’s management in 1987, which removed her from teaching and kept her as a librarian, where she continued to have contact with the children. Indeed, in 1993, another family again accused him of misbehavior, the order accepts.

Freya Balbino, Augustinian accused of sexual abuse of Augustinian students of Valencia during the 70s and 80s.
Freya Balbino, Augustinian accused of sexual abuse of Augustinian students of Valencia during the 70s and 80s.

When 56-year-old Nacho Barcelo entered his school’s website and saw Frey Balbino’s name and photos, he wrote a comment requesting that they be removed. “In honor of the victims, apparently there were only a few of us,” he explains. What was deleted “immediately” was his message, not the photos. He assures that the religious abused him during the seventies when he was six or seven years old. “It was on more than one occasion, but I don’t know how many … the memories I have are very vague. During recess or when classes were over, he invited me to stay and closed the door. He would sit in his chair, in the loft before classes, and pull my pants down and touch me. I thought he would masturbate, but I had no idea,” Barcelo says. The victim did not tell anyone, not even her family. In fact, he didn’t talk about it until he was 30. “It was a blockade on a general level, especially affectionate and sexual, that robbed me of a large part of my life,” he laments.

When he felt ready, Barcelo began to investigate, and it was very easy for him to obtain information about the ascetic’s “corrupt” practices, apparently constant and known to all. On the Internet, they also found a blog To condemn the abuses committed by the Augustinians. Another witness, who prefers to remain anonymous, says of Frey Balbino: “He was often overly affectionate with some classmates (we were all boys) whom he hugged, kissed and even kissed. that put his hand under his shirt”. In fact, when Barcelo asked his brother and brother-in-law, who were also Agustinos de Valencia’s alumni, what they thought about the subject, their response was: “Absolutely. Everyone knew that Freya Balbino did it.” Barcelo, who maintains communication with Augustinian and is “at their disposal” for the internal investigation they are conducting, has also been contacted. Repara Project of the Archbishop of Madrid, “I talked a lot with Repara. The reception was great, and they offered me psychological support. That’s the only thing I want. That they accept the facts and make themselves available for the victims. The Augustinians are doing it, but they take it as an imposition, and the lack of genuine interest is noticeable”, he explains.

Frey Balbino, who appeared in the second five of the previous video, spent most of his life at the Valencia school, with a parentage of six years in León. Born in 1928 in the town of Leoni, Vilmartin de Don Sancho, according to information from the order, he took the habit in 1952. Three years later, he was assigned to the Augustinian Fathers of Valencia, where he remained until 1957, when he was transferred to the Colegio Nuestra Madre del Buene Consejo in the capital of León, where he remained until 1963. Then he returned to school. In Valencia, where he worked as a teacher for 30 years. All charges collected by EL PAÍS are in Valencia.

Rubén Moreno, who was Frey Balbino’s student in the 1986–1987 academic year, explains that the priest tried to abuse him: “It was in June 1987, when I finished the fourth year of the EGB. I mean, I was 10 years old. During the course, he had been my teacher and had done nothing to me. Lots of hugs, but nothing exaggerated or out of place. When summer vacation came, he called my mother and told me to go to school to see her, that she wanted to give me a gift. When I entered the classroom where he was waiting for me, he locked the door from inside and pulled the curtain. He handed me a book with dedication and made me sit on my knee so that we could look at it together. Suddenly, he touched my pubis. ‘You’re a little sweaty and you have hair. Have you told your parents yet?’ he asked me. I saw that this was not normal and I woke up. I started screaming, asked him to open the door. He opened it and I ran away.”

Moreno told his parents, who had gone to the school to speak with Father Vicente Zaldivar, the director at the time, according to his account. “They told us that if we want to take any kind of action, we are within our rights. My parents didn’t want to change my school, and neither did I, and what we asked was that Frey Balbino not teach again. The following year, they made him a librarian, and he was in the library for at least two years”, explains Moreno.

“He gave us nicknames: The golden boy, My Sorrel…”

However, Fry returned to abuse Balbino. The Augustinians believe that, in the summer of 1993, another family contacted the organization to report that they had abused their son. By mutual consent, the order assured, they decided not to report him and remove him from all academic activities. Thus, the religious was transferred to the community of Alicante, where he retired in 1994 and where he remained until his death in 2007, without performing teaching duties, according to Augustinian. The congregation, as a result of all complaints against him coming to light, is investigating the matter: “We have received three complaints. We have reached out to all three victims to apologize, listen to them and make ourselves available for them. At the provincial level, a team of professionals from different fields has been formed to be able to provide assistance to the seekers. Two of these complaints are from former students who have participated in EL PAS.

CB Frey was Balbino’s student during the same course as Moreno. She was not the victim of his abuse, but she was a witness to his touch in the classroom. “The distinctive thing about him was the movies. One day a week, I watch movies in class. He closed the curtains and tried to keep the classroom dark. Most of us loved it. But for many he leaned on their shoulders, touched their faces, caressed them… and it was not strange to see them with a child sitting upstairs. He also gave nicknames to the students. Golden boy, joselito, mi sorrel… I was looking at them with desire”, he recounts. “Two years later, a friend and I went to the library to return a book. He was the manager. When we arrived, he told us: ‘What a beautiful child’, and soon after he moved his finger through the inside of our lip, the fleshiest, most moist. At that point, as a 12-year-old, you tend to think that those gestures are part of the same semantic field as your clumsy aunt’s kisses, and you don’t attach much importance to it. With the passage of time, I have taken it as something unusual”, he added. CB believes that people who had a really bad time were born a few years earlier in the 1970s: “Those guys got the worst of it.”

Emilio Boyer, in front of the school of the Augustinian Fathers in Valencia, where he assures that he had suffered sexual abuse by Frey Balbino.
Emilio Boyer, in front of the school of the Augustinian Fathers in Valencia, where he assures that he had suffered sexual abuse by Frey Balbino.Samuel Sanchez

One of those seventy-year-old students is 55-year-old Emilio Bauer, who told about his case at EL Pass last December. Bauer reported that in 1975 he was subjected to both physical and sexual abuse by Frey Balbino. “I was nine and it took me down a path of bitterness,” he lamented then. The priest beat him, punished him and suspended him. “One day, he and I were in class alone and the man took off his underpants. I was very young, but I knew something strange was happening. ‘Oh, Emilio, you could have got better grades if you wanted to…’, he told me. Overall, he hugs me, with all the trips out there. He had closed the class. I started running and he was following me. If he had slapped me, I would have given him the rubbish and whatever. I was so afraid that he would kill me… but it didn’t happen from there. He opened the door and let me out. He kept hitting me after that episode. It was the worst year of my life,” Boyer said.

There are other witnesses. Vicente Flor and Julie Capilla are authors and both have used this Augustinian motif in their works. He was his student in 1980 and 1981 respectively, when he was 10 years old. Capilla said: “He kissed some of his colleagues on the cheeks, and patted them on the ass.” Flor, for her part, remembers: “I was no victim other than a kiss on the forehead. But, like many, I saw unacceptable things. When I told my father that Fray Balbino loved me very much, he talked to him and since then he hasn’t touched me at all. I’ve seen it in the first person, in the movie projection room, with a kid in our class. Back, next to the projector booth. Both of them sat looking at the screen. Freya Balbino grabbed her by the shoulder, putting her whole hand behind her. I’ve seen it with kids in a way that we wouldn’t see acceptable today. That he was a pedestrian was public and infamous.”

If you know of any case of sexual abuse that hasn’t had daylight, write to us here with your complaint abuses@elpais.es

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