Antonio “Pincelito” Soriano: How Did the Rapist Die?

Veronica and Carmen Garcia

In ‘Hell on Earth: The Verónica Case,’ the narrative explores the experiences of Veronica and her mother, María del Carmen García, whose lives were upturned after their encounters with one Antonio Cosme Velasco Soriano, better known around town as “Pincelito.” The 62-year-old man was a neighbor to the Garcias and remained well-recognized around town due to his family’s longstanding history. For the same reason, once news broke out about how he had raped the 13-year-old Veronica Garcia, the town attempted to come to his defense.

Nevertheless, Antonio was convicted for his crimes and received a prison sentence. A few years later, while out of prison on a permit, the man ran into Carmen Garcia unannounced, which led to his inevitable demise. Consequently, as his actions continued affecting the Garcia family for years to come, the nature of his death and its connection to Carmen must instill intrigue within the viewers.

Who is Antonio “Pincelito” Soriano?

Born to Ramón Velasco Cases, a.k.a “Pincelito,” Antonio Cosme Velasco Soriano had a built-in reputation in the town of Benejúzar, Spain. As per José Antonio Muñoz Grau, who wrote a book about Antonio’s father, Ramón played a big role in the Spanish Civil War. Afterward, the man went on to become an assassin for the Communist party and mined a certain kind of “respect” around town by catering to the right-wing landowners. While the father had nothing to do with Antonio’s encounters with the Garcia family, Ramon’s reputation bled into his son’s, setting the tone for the latter’s life.

Antonio lived with his family and worked as a bricklayer. He also employed the empty lots near his residence to breed pigeons for a sport where male pigeons fly after a female of their species in a competition. The man lived across the street from the Garcias and remained a recognizable face. For the same reason, Veronica didn’t mind his presence when she went out on October 17, 1998, to get a bread loaf for her mother. Nevertheless, the same ended up gravely costing the young girl as Antonio used her solitude to attack Veronica, holding her at knifepoint.

Consequently, Antonio raped young Veronica after dragging her out to the forest. Eventually, the girl was able to escape from his clutches with false promises of her silence. Thus, as soon as Veronica returned home, she told her mother, Carmen, everything. The family was quick to call the police on Antonio, resulting in his arrest. In the aftermath, a majority of the townsfolk stood in support of Antonio, firm in their disbelief that the 62-year-old man could commit such a heinous act. According to Veronica’s account, many people questioned her honesty before claiming she must have done something to “provoke” the older man.

For his part, Antonio, with Antonio Martinez Camacho as his attorney at court, remained steadfast in his denial of Veronica’s rape. In fact, he attempted to argue his innocence by citing the young girl’s intact hymen— an argument that remains dated and unscientific evidence to disprove penetrative assault. Inversely, the semen found on Veronica’s clothes, including her underwear, stood as factual evidence in the court. Consequently, after a long legal battle, the court sentenced Antonio to a prison sentence. While the initial sentence, delivered in December of 2000, was for 13 years, an appeal eventually brought it down to nine years. Thus, Antonio spent the coming years in imprisonment.

Antonio’s Encounter With His Victim’s Mother Led to His Death

After serving his sentence for a few years, Antonio Cosme Velasco Soriano secured a three-day pass from prison and decided to return to Benejúzar to catch up with his old life. However, the Garcias were not informed about this turn of events. Therefore, Carmen Garcia was entirely taken aback when she ran into the man at the local bus stop. During their brief meeting, Antonio allegedly asked the woman about her daughter, Veronica, whom he had raped seven years ago. While a witness cannot confirm the instance, leaving Carmen’s word as the only account, Antonio’s disrespectful line of questioning is believed to be the spark that lit Carmen’s fury.

The past few years weren’t kind to Carmen, who had developed mental health issues due to her daughter’s traumatic assault and their family’s social rejection. Therefore, after encountering Antonio, the mother armed herself with a bottle of gasoline and a matchbox— and followed him into the Bar Mary, a local hotspot, which became the place where the man died. At the bar, Carmen approached Antonio and doused him in gasoline. Before the other patrons or the owner could stop her, the woman lit Antonio on fire, leaving him to burn to death.

As Carmen fled, the crowd attempted to help Antonio with fire extinguishers and water. Ultimately, the authorities airlifted him and took him to a specialist unit. After suffering 60% burns, Antonio, at 69, survived for eleven days in the Valencia hospital before his injuries led to his death. In the end, Carmen was put on trial for homicide and received a prison sentence. Furthermore, in the wake of Antonio’s death, Carmen had to pay compensation of 80 thousand euros to his wife. In his death, Antonio left behind his family, a wife, and a daughter. Nevertheless, the family remained out of the public eye, leaving no further information about the man— or his photograph—  easily available to the public.

Read More: Carmen Garcia: Veronica Garcia’s Mom Was Released From Prison