Children living at Casa Pia de Lisboa
1981 Jan 1
In 1981, Portuguese Judiciary Police accused the caretaker of a Casa Pia state-run children's home of raping dozens of children over a period of 30 years, and supplying children to several men of both Portuguese and other nationalities, including some prominent personalities of Portugal. At the time, Portuguese Judiciary Police had possession of photographs taken by one of four men accused sexually abusing young children. These pictures inexplicably disappeared from the police files and the case against the caretaker was dropped.
The scandal of alleged sexual abuse at the state-run Casa Pia orphanages resurfaced when several former orphanage children came forward with accusations of abuse. The accusations linked some politicians, diplomats, and media celebrities — all of whom were alleged to have conspired in a pedophilia ring that had operated for decades. The scandal broke in September 2002 when the mother of one alleged victim, known as Joel, complained of abuse by staff at a Casa Pia house.