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Spanish porn star charged with reckless homicide after toad venom death

(CNN) — Spanish porn star Nacho Vidal has been charged with reckless homicide after a man died during a ceremony involving toad venom.

Vidal, whose real name is Ignacio Jordà González, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in May following an 11-month investigation, according to a statement at the time from Spain’s law enforcement agency, the Guardia Civil.

The investigation showed the victim, a photographer, died after participating in a “spiritual or mystical” ceremony in July 2019 in the town of Enguera, near Valencia, in eastern Spain, according to a statement from a court in Xàtiva, a town in the province of Valencia.

The ritual, which took place in Vidal’s home, involved inhaling venomous vapors from the burning of scales from a Bufo alvarius toad, according to the statement.

Vidal’s lawyer, Daniel Salvador of the firm Vosseler Lawyers, declined to comment on the case when contacted by CNN Friday. Salvador told CNN in June that the death was a “tragic accident” and that his client was not responsible.

Vidal can appeal the decision and the prosecutor’s office now has 10 days from Wednesday, when he was charged, to request the opening of an oral trial or its dismissal.

The court dismissed proceedings against a cousin of Vidal and another person investigated, saying they had no criminal responsibility because they had no “control of the situation” and were not involved in directing the ceremony. Neither of their names has been made public and police have not named the man who died.

Also known as the Colorado River toad or the Sonoran Desert toad, the amphibian releases a venom called 5-MeO-DMT, which is known to have hallucinogenic effects, according to the Addiction Center website. It is about four to six times more powerful than the better-known DMT or dimethyltryptamine, which “stimulates the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that causes feelings of happiness,” according to the Addiction Center.

According to the court statement, Vidal was “the director” of the ritual and had experience in taking the drug in question. He allegedly supplied the drug and failed to control properly the amount the victim inhaled.

If found guilty, Vidal could face up to four years in prison, according to section 142 of the Spanish penal code.

Aged 47, Vidal has appeared in at least 10,000 scenes, in a porn career spanning 26 years, according to his website.

He describes himself as “one of the most important exponents” of the porn industry and is the owner of a sex toy store.

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