Real-Life Juan “Juanjo” & Rodrigo In ‘The Asunta Case’: Where Is Rosario’s Lawyer Now?


The Asunta Case was an enigma for the entire country, and the lawyers knew that defending the couple in question, i.e., Alfonso and Rosario, was not going to be an easy job. The benefit that Rosario had was that her family had connections in the legal fraternity as her father was a lawyer, and she had a degree in law, though she never really practiced it properly. Rosario was quite close to a lawyer named Rodrigo, whose character in the series is inspired by a real-life lawyer named Juan Gillian. Juan was a trusted ally, and Rosario’s father had a lot of faith in him. In The Asunta Case series, we saw that though Rodrigo took the case, he was very unsure about it from the very beginning because, firstly, he was not a criminal lawyer, and secondly, he felt that Rosario was guilty. In a conversation with Rosario’s mother, he told her that there was evidence that undeniably proved that Rosario and Alfonso had a role to play in the scheme of things. Rodrigo attended the first few meetings between the couple and investigative agencies, but eventually, as the case became more complicated, he came to the decision that he was not going to be a part of it. That’s when we saw in The Asunta Case series that a well-known lawyer named Juan Jose Dominguez came to the helm of affairs and decided to take Rosario’s case.

The character of Dominguez is inspired by a real-life lawyer named Jose Luis Gutierrez Aranguren, who defended Rosario in the Asunta Basterra Porter murder case. In the very first scene where Aranguren’s character was introduced, we saw that he was talking to his daughter very casually, who was asking him how he planned to put up a defense and what kind of arguments he was going to make in court. Aranguren told his daughter that he would find a way to do it as, according to him, the case was quite simple. In real life, too, the lawyer believed that he would be able to protect Rosario from going to prison, but obviously, reality didn’t turn out like that.

In The Asunta Case series, Dominguez met Rosario’s neighbor, Xose Miranda Ramos, who told the lawyer with a lot of certainty that the media were spreading false rumors about the couple and that they had nothing to do with their daughter’s death. That had an effect on Dominguez, and probably that’s how he made the presumption that Rosario was actually innocent. Dominguez then met Elena Garrido, and he told her to take Alfonso’s case so that they could put up a joint defense against the prosecution. Elena agreed to the condition that Dominguez would have to face the media, and she would have nothing to do with them. After doing a little bit of research on the lawyer, we learned that Jose Luis loved facing the camera in real life, and he was very generous while conducting interviews with the media. He probably loved the fame that came with it, and that’s why he was more than ready to take on the case that was being talked about by the entire country. 

Jose Luis Gutierrez Aranguren, in an interview, said that he couldn’t believe that the jury and the court had found Rosario guilty of murdering her daughter, Asunta Porto. And in my opinion, he was quite right in saying so because no motive could be proved, and moreover, any evidence presented in court couldn’t establish the link beyond a reasonable doubt. Jose believed that no jury should give judgment based on conjectures, and he felt that in Asunta’s case, that is what happened. He said that though the orange wires were found in the dustbin, it could never be proved that it was the same object used to tie the victim. The second thing he said was that the prosecution theorized that Rosario committed the crime either because she was suffering from mental illnesses, or she wanted freedom from Alfonso. But both of these theories were again half-baked, and it wasn’t wrong on his part to call them merely speculation as they did not establish anything. I personally agree with whatever the lawyer spoke about in his interviews and during the cross-examination. Maybe his intentions were driven by his own vested interests, but it cannot be denied that the judgment was not strong, and moreover, nothing could be conclusively stated. As of now, Jose Luis Gutierrez Aranguren is still a practicing criminal lawyer, and he has an illustrious career that speaks volumes about his proficiency.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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