It was a weekly newspaper that first broke the allegations back in 1992. There were claims that a driver at the Lisbon children’s home Casa Pia, Carlos Silvino, had been abusing youngsters at the institution.
But there were more alarming headlines to come: allegations that the driver had taken children to other places to be abused by wealthy men.
The driver, who confessed to some of the crimes, was joined in the dock by popular television presenter and producer Carlos Cruz.
The police also arrested a former diplomat, Jorge Ritto, and two doctors, including Ferreira Diniz. The men faced some 900 charges in total.
Observers say before the Casa Pia case the Portuguese media had long shied away from reporting on issues such as child abuse.
All of the accused, except the driver, protested their innocence, denying claims of abuse in basements, vehicles and secluded houses.