Photo: Asdrubal Bentes
A Brazilian congressman sentenced to three years in prison for electoral crimes that included offers of sterilizations for women in exchange for votes, gave himself up Tuesday to the judiciary to start doing his time behind bars, authorities said.
Police said that Asdrubal Bentes surrendered to authorities in Brasilia when the Supreme Federal Court ordered him arrested after denying all of his appeals.
Bentes, of the PMDB, which forms part of the current government coalition, was tried and convicted in 2011.
The court found that during his 2004 race for mayor of the Amazonian city of Maraba, Bentes made a series of offers in exchange for votes, which included sterilization treatments for women.
The treatments were performed through a PMDB foundation headed by Bentes that was used to contact doctors who would perform the procedures.
The politician “engaged in absolutely harmful duplicity and deserves an exemplary reprimand, because he went beyond all imaginable limits in the kinds of electoral corruption he perpetrated,” the Supreme Court said in 2011.
Even so, the court imposed a sentence under the four-year threshold that requires incarceration.
Though the court has not confirmed it, judicial sources say that Bentes will certainly be given the benefit of house arrest.
The speaker of the lower house of Congress, the PMDB’s Henrique Eduardo Alves, scheduled a meeting for Wednesday with congressional leaders to decide whether the disgraced lawmaker should lose his seat.