The Spanish authorities have arrested a fugitive psychologist convicted of a string of sex offences in his native France.
Lionel Agullo, 63, fled from Perigueux, a city in the south-western French department of Dordogne, in 2021 after failing to turn up for a rape trial.
Agullo, a self-styled sex therapist and life coach was convicted of two rapes in absentia and sentenced to six years behind bars.
The French police also found a huge stash of child pornography on his electronic devices, according to local media.
His freedom, though, ended on 27th June after French police tipped off Spanish justice officials that he was living near Sevilla in Andalucia.
Guardia Civil bodycam footage shows police in San Juan de Aznalfarache rushing Agullo as he stops behind his car with a trolley full of groceries.
As they push him to the ground and handcuff him one officer shouts in French: “It’s the police. Get on the ground. Get on the ground now. Put your hands behind.”
When Agullo realises the game is up he stops struggling and says in Spanish: “No problem, sir. No problem.”
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Guardia Civil on Thursday, 6th July, saying: “National Police officers have arrested a French fugitive wanted for rape and child pornography for the past year.”
The Spanish authorities said he had abused female patients and investigators in France had found child pornography on his electronic devices.
The statement said: “The detainee took advantage of his profession as a therapist to allegedly carry out sexual abuses and rapes during therapy sessions in France.
“Various pornographic material involving minors was found on his electronic devices.”
And they revealed there could be more victims.
They said: “The fugitive advertised himself in France as a therapist, life coach, and writer, and had a large number of followers.
“He was accused of sexually abusing and raping at least four clients during therapy sessions, although there are indications that there may be more victims.”
Spanish police told how Agullo is a person with a “persuasive personality” like a “cult guru”.
The statement said: “After his escape, French authorities suspected that the fugitive, who had a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) against him, could be in our country, so they contacted Spanish authorities, warning that he had a persuasive personality and great eloquence, typical of a cult guru.”
Spanish police also said: “The National Police managed to apprehend the fugitive in this municipality in the province of Seville just one week after receiving the initial information.
“During the investigation carried out in France, following the seizure and analysis of his electronic devices, various pornographic materials involving minors were found.
“The operation was carried out within the framework of the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST), which aims to increase security within the European Union by improving the efficiency in tracking and arresting criminals under international search.”
French media outlet Sud Ouest relayed news of Agullo’s arrest, adding that it took place on 27th June.
They also said Agullo had been living with a woman in Spain.
The French authorities reportedly tracked him down to Spain after fitting a tracking device on the vehicle of one of his acquaintances in Libourne, in the Gironde department of south-western France. They also reportedly bugged her phone.
Finally, the acquaintance, who has not been named, drove south to see Agullo, allowing the French authorities to pinpoint his location.
After disappearing before his trial in November 2021, he was convicted in his absentia of raping two women and sentenced to six years in prison.
A psychiatric expert who had assessed Agullo said he had “a paranoid personality marked by narcissism, a psycho-rigid positioning, a tendency towards manipulation and theatricalism”.
Agullo can now either accept the trial verdict and go to jail or he can reject it and face a retrial.
In the past, he had claimed to be a “victim of a judicial machination and a political cabal” and denied the accusations against him.
But Lawyer Nadege Trion, who is representing one of his victims, told Sud Ouest: “We have the feeling that the judiciary has acted, even if it took a long time.
“My client is torn between the desire to face the accused again to get answers and the fear of being confronted with new stress.”
French media reported that Agullo is expected to be extradited to France within two weeks.