CRIME

Complaints about alleged attacks by “shaman dwarf” grow by the day

José Israel Gutiérrez, a 48-year-old Colombian national, is accused of sexually abusing women Police investigation alleges he used a psychotropic drug to reduce his victims’ ability to resist

The police file on José Israel Gutiérrez — a 48-year-old Colombian national accused of sexually abusing women in Madrid — keeps on growing. Gutiérrez, a dwarf who makes his living by bit-part acting, occasionally in pornographic films, was arrested last week and subsequently released on bail after being charged with more than 20 attacks in the capital, all of which he denies carrying out.

Describing himself as a “shaman, a witch,” Gutiérrez has stated that he simply “did good deeds for people that needed them.” The police investigation, however, alleges that Gutiérrez used Scopolamine, a psychotropic drug, to reduce his victims’ ability to resist and later undressed and abused them.

Gutiérrez’s neighbors in the Vallecas area of Madrid do not wish to speak about “the little man,” who has acquired some local fame as a secondary actor in television shows and adverts. However, his notoriety off-screen was such that his name and address were posted on internet forums, warning potential victims of his ruse.

Police sources warn that it will be difficult to convict Gutiérrez. “At the moment it is the word of the victims against his, and the drug he used leaves very little trace.” Furthermore, a search of Gutiérrez’s home did not uncover any Scopolamine.

Gutiérrez’s modus operandi never varied, according to statements given to the police. He would approach women in the street and strike up a conversation. After gaining some degree of confidence, he would hand his intended victim a newspaper impregnated with the drug. With their defenses down, his targets would then volunteer their telephone number and address.

“Loss of consciousness”

“He gave me a glass of water and the sense of loss of consciousness grew,” said one of Gutiérrez’s victims. He has claimed that he was simply performing traditional therapeutic rituals. To supplement his income, Gutiérrez worked as a stripper in a dwarf troupe often employed by stag parties. “He always did his job well,” said his employer, although Gutiérrez’s profile was removed from the company website hours after his arrest on May 17.

Gutiérrez is suspected of posing as a witch doctor in order to sexually abuse his victims since 2007. The number of police complaints has risen on a daily basis since his arrest, and the authorities are hopeful of securing a conviction, while conceding that the Colombian’s alleged crimes “are very difficult to prove.”

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