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No Rape Convictions for 5 Men: Victim Was Unconscious

Lesser sentences lead to outrage in Spain
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2019 10:44 AM CDT
   (Getty/Michael Chodyra)

(Newser) – There was outrage in Spain on Thursday as five men were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in prison for sexual abuse in a case involving a 14-year-old girl. As the BBC reports, the court acquitted the men of the more serious charge of sexual aggression, which would've granted sentences of between 15 and 20 years, because the men committed the attack in October 2016 "without resorting to violence or intimidation." The reason for that: the victim, awarded $13,400 in damages, was unconscious from drugs and alcohol. The verdict drew outrage in part because it followed a similar 2018 case in which five men calling themselves the "wolf pack" were acquitted of sexual aggression but convicted of sexual abuse in an assault on a 18-year-old woman in Pamplona in 2016.

The "Barcelona court continues to believe that women must put up a heroic resistance," Altamira Gonzalo of women’s law group Themis tells the Guardian. "They have taken a benevolent view of men"—described as two Spaniards, two Cubans, and an Argentine—"who, with their trousers round their ankles, took turns at raping a 14-year-old girl who, as well as being under the effects of alcohol, was in a situation where she couldn't defend herself." Says Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau: "It is not abuse, it is rape!" per the BBC, which reports social media users are spreading a hashtag meaning the same thing. A protest is already scheduled for Saturday in Manresa. (Read more sexual assault stories.)

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