The former president of a Paraguay soccer club embroiled in a sex scandal with one of his young players is now also suspected of human trafficking, the Prosecutor's Office revealed on Saturday.
Police who raided the home of former Liga Luqueňa de Futbol President Antonio Gonzalez found films, cell phones and flash drives containing child pornography, along with a stash of ammunition. Investigators are currently analyzing the evidence.
Prosecutor Teresa Martinez, who authorized the raid, said there have been numerous allegations mounted against Gonzalez by young soccer players.
"We already have a history of cases of Paraguayan boys who are victims of trafficking in football, abroad and in the country," Martinez said.
A statement issued by Liga Luqueňa made it clear that Gonzalez is no longer a representative of the club, stating that he was forced to resign following a fall-out with the team.
"According to the records of the Liga Luqueňa de Futbol, Mr. Antonio Rufino Gonzalez is not the president or leader of the Rubio Ňu club, an entity affiliated with the league... he is registered as belonging to Athletic Mars," the statement reads.
"In the registry, he is nothing: not president or member, delegate. Nothing," Rafael Ruben Garcia, owner of Liga Luqueña, told Noticias Paraguay.
Gonzalez was accused last week by 26-year-old soccer player Bernardo Gabriel Caballero of coercing him into an unwanted sexual relationship.
A photo, which went viral after it was released anonymously on Facebook, appears to show the two men in an intimate bedroom pose, but Caballero's attorney, Valentin Ozuna, insists the relationship was not consensual.
In a radio interview, Caballero explained that as a young athlete, aged 18, he was approached by Gonzalez, who promised him an international career.
Gonzalez, who has accused Caballero of publishing the compromising photo out of spite after he was forced to leave the club, insists that the two men were in a romantic relationship at the time.
He has since lashed out at Caballero, calling him a "bandit, swindler, whore, asshole, and malnourished pig," as well as threatened to destroy the young athlete’s soccer career.