TV star turned convicted paedophile sues State over “lost” honour

While UK celebrities caught out by historic sex offences have accepted the removal of any honours they may have received from the Queen without so much as a murmur, here in Portugal convicted paedophile Carlos Cruz is kicking up a stink from the confines of his jail cell in Carregueira prison, Sintra.

He claims the stripping of his decoration as a Grand Official of the Order of Infante D. Henrique is unconstitutional and he is demanding €20,000 in damages.

National news media reported in January that Cruz and fellow inmate, former UNESCO ambassador Jorge Ritto had finally seen their honours stripped as a result of convictions in the Casa Pia sex abuse scandal. Both are still in jail – Cruz maintaining his innocence after a case that dragged on for years and saw more than 800 people give evidence.

From his cell in the same prison that sees former Benfica boss Vale e Azevedo unsuccessfully appealing for early release, Cruz has let it be known that he is “hurt” by the removal of his decoration and considers it a “gratuitous offence”.
His defence lawyer is thus demanding the restoration of Cruz’s honour.

In a statement, the lawyer contends that by removing the Order of Infante D. Henrique, the “State has contributed to the stigma and revolt” surrounding his client, “feeding antisocial, anti-juridical behaviour” towards him that it should instead have prevented.

Cruz was convicted in 2010 for seven years for his part in the long-running sexual abuse of boys who were meant at the time to be in the care of Casa Pia children’s home.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]

Photo by: TIAGO PETINGA/LUSA

Photo: Former TV presenter Carlos Cruz outside the Campus de Justiça in Lisbon on January 3 2013