Early yesterday afternoon, the judge on duty in Valls released the Valls Councilor for Culture, Marc Ayala, with charges. The day before he was arrested by the Mossos d’Esquadra accused of a crime against sexual freedom, specifically for sexual abuse with penetration of a minor under 16 years of age. As a precautionary measure, he is prohibited from leaving the country, he had to deliver his passport and on Mondays of each week he must appear in court.
The relationship would have begun -according to the complainant- at the end of 2015, when he was 13 years old and the accused, 27. Some contacts that the complainant noted in his complaint that lasted for more than four years. He would even have provided WhatsApp messages between the two.
The minor recounted before the Mossos the psychological abuse he suffered, the type of sexual practices that they maintained and the anger that Marc Ayala would get on certain occasions. The young man -now of legal age- went to the Mossos d’Esquadra police station on April 25 to present a “long complaint”, according to some sources.
From there, the agents of the Unitat d’Investigació of the Valls police station began to investigate. They took statements from some people close to the victim, who declared that they were aware of this relationship.
Shortly before eight o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, the Mossos d’Esquadra arrested Ayala and took him to the police station, where he spent the night. Yesterday he declared before the Court of Instruction 2 of Valls, that he is on duty.
The investigated, who only answered the questions of his lawyer, explained that he had consensual relations with the young man when he was already 16 years old, in 2019 and 2020, and therefore he could already give his legal consent.
The private prosecution requested preventive detention, while the prosecutor requested provisional release -as did the defense-, with passport withdrawal and a restraining order.
The judge recalls that a statement has not yet been taken from the complainant and that it will be then when the investigating judge – the case will be distributed among the three courts because the facts do not have a specific date – will be able to make a decision after having also heard the other persons called to testify. He will also have the psychological reports that have to be provided and the one that the coroner writes.
The judge states in his order that if the minor was under 16 years old when the events began, the accused could face sentences of more than eight years in prison -see box above-.
The private accusation requested provisional detention not only because of the high penalty to which the accused could be sentenced, but also because it considers that there is a risk of flight, since due to his profession and economic means he could flee the country. But the judge recalls that the councilor is domiciled in Valls, that the events would have taken place more than seven years ago and that other less serious measures can be put on him.
According to the newspaper Ara, this would not be the only case. Another young man explained to the newspaper that at the age of 14 he also had relations with the councilman. This second young man related that he met Ayala through rehearsals for the Pessebre Vivent de Valls.
For a time they would have had sexual relations at the house of the already councilman, who told him not to say anything. The events would have occurred in 2014 and would have lasted several months.
The private accusation mentioned these three alleged other victims to justify the prison, considering that there is a risk of criminal repetition.
But the judge recalls that not only do we not have the names of these people, but what is published in the press cannot affect the judicial resolution.
On the restraining order requested by the Prosecutor’s Office, the judge affirms that the complainant lives more than 500 kilometers from Valls and that in two years he has only met the councilor twice. But that the investigated has not had any violent behavior. In addition, the councilor, since last year, no longer directs the Grup del Teatre Principal, which would be the place where the complainant and the accused would meet.
The Valls City Council announced last night that councilor Marc Ayala had submitted his resignation from office in the afternoon. This decision comes after the Valls Court has opened a case for a crime of sexual abuse committed on a minor under 16 years of age. He will leave his site to focus on defending him.
In the statement, the City Council highlights respect, as fundamental principles, for the presumption of innocence as well as the defense of the rights of the people affected by this case. Likewise, it expresses the utmost respect for the open investigation and the judicial process that may arise and hopes that, as soon as possible, the whole truth regarding the reported events will be known.
He was fourth deputy mayor and member of various information commissions: Serveis a la Ciutat; Economic Development, Trade, Tourism and Occupation; Serveis a les Persones i Transparència i Bon Govern. He presides over the Museu de Valls.
Marc Ayala was a councilor of the City Council since 2015 for Junts per Valls. He was in charge of the Department of Culture, and runs Educació y Lleure. Precisely yesterday he had to present La Nit dels Museums and the International Day of the Museums- and the Xarxa de Cultura. The press conference, like the others scheduled, were suspended.
He is also a deputy in the Diputació (a position he leaves as he is not a councilor). Thus, he is a delegate of Contracting and Expropriations. One of his functions is to submit to the corporation the proposal to indicate the strategic and operational objectives of his management area. He is a member of the informative commissions of the Servei d’Assistència al Ciutadà – SAC, of the Servei d’Assistència al Territori – SAT, of Projectes Europeus i Regió del Coneixement i TIC, and of Serveis Generals, Contractació i Expropriacions (of which he is the president ).