La Manada sexual abuse case

La Manada (wolfpack) case is a case of sexual violence that happened in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain on July 7, 2016 during San Fermín celebrations. A group of five men sexually abused an 18-year-old girl from Madrid in a building hallway at the city centre of Pamplona. The victim accused them of rape.

The case had strong media coverage because there were video recordings of the events and the commentaries on social networks.[1] The accused from Seville, including a member of the Civil Guard and another of the Spanish Army, were arrested and tried.[2] The judgment was announced on April 26 2018 with the court clearing the accused of rape, finding them guilty of sexual abuse instead. One of the three magistrates did not agree with his two colleagues and voted for their acquittal.[2]

Background[]

Demonstration against the sentence in Pamplona
Protesters in Pamplona

In the early hours of July 7, an 18-year-old girl reported a rape to the Police of Pamplona, perpetrated by five young people. The girl, who was going to her car to sleep, was accompanied during a part of the journey by the men. She alleged that they pushed her into a doorway of a building. While some committed the crime, others recorded it on their mobile phones.[3] She was later abandoned in the doorway and her mobile phone was stolen.[4]

The perpetrators shared the video of the attack in a WhatsApp group called "La Manada" ("the wolfpack").[5] Seven clips of this video were studied by the police in a 200-page report in which it is reported that the girl maintained a "passive and neutral" attitude, that her attitude was not "participatory" and that there was "humiliation and vexation" toward her.[6]

Trial[]

The prosecution was represented by the public prosecutor, the victim, the City of Pamplona, and the Government of Navarre. The tribunal considered in the sentence that the victim's testimony was objectively credible, was consistent throughout the investigation, did not introduce "improbable elements" and did not have "spurious motives" to make the accusation. It considered that there was "minimal violence" and "very serious intimidation that prevented the defense of the victim" surrounded by the five men, and that they left her helpless after the event because they took her cell phone. The defendant argued that it was group consensual sex and she had made the accusation for fear that the video could be seen by other people.

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, five months after the trial, the Provincial Court of Navarre published its judgment. The court sentenced the five accused to nine years in prison for continued sexual abuse, although they did not find them guilty of sexual aggression (which would have meant 12 to 15 years of prison). The sentence is not final.

Video of demonstrations on April 26, 2018, in Madrid streets.

In Spain, the crime of sex without consent has 2 legal categories, sexual aggression or sexual abuse. Sexual aggression is defined as necessitating violence (violencia) or intimidation (intimidación), sexual abuse is without violence, however there are controversies regarding the interpretation of these legal terms by the public;[7] "intimidation" is more narrow than abusing superiority or influence over the victim.[8]

Reactions[]

After the sentence, demonstrations took place in many Spanish cities as a sign of disagreement with the conviction for its 'leniency', as well as the expression of disagreement of different relevant political and social figures.[9]

Feminist associations denounced the sentence, valuing it as especially negative because it can be "very bad precedent" giving the context of the events. They also pointed out that once again women are held responsible for the assaults they suffer.[10] Since 22 June 2018 they are out prison under bail after paying 6,000 euros.[11] American actresses Jessica Chastain and Rose McGowan also expressed their condemnation of the sentence.[12]

Related developments[]

During the defendants' parole awaiting the outcome to their appeal, four of them were subject to prosecution for another sex abuse case involving an unconscious girl lying on the defendants' van.[13] In late October, the convicts were declared persona non grata in Pozoblanco, Cordova, hometown of the victim of the male group's alleged assault in 2016, now under investigation.[14] In October 2018, the soldier Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo, one of the individuals condemned in the case, was expelled from the army months after his conviction.[15]

See, also[]

References[]

  1. ^ Abril Camino (November 16, 2017). "Las redes sociales sobre "la manada": así reacciona el feminismo en las redes". Trendencias. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Thousands protest over Spanish rape ruling". BBC News. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  3. ^ "La policía que redactó la denuncia dice ahora que la joven sabía que la grabaron. Noticias de España". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "La brutalidad de 'La Manada': desnudaron, violaron y le robaron el móvil a la víctima para evitar que pidiese ayuda". laSexta.com. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Pepa López (November 14, 2017). "Estos son los mensajes de Whatsapp de "La Manada", el grupo acusado de la violación de San Fermín 2016" (in Spanish). Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Manuel Jacoibs (November 27, 2017). "Un juicio de 96 segundos". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  7. ^ Ceberio Belaza, Mónica (27 April 2018). "Por qué los jueces consideran que no hay violación y sí abuso sexual". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  8. ^ Ceberio Belaza, Mónica (27 April 2018). "La Manada ruling sparks fierce debate over definition of sexual violence". El País. Madrid. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Anger in Spain over Pamplona festival gang rape case". The Local. November 24, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Defensa expulsa del Ejército al militar de 'la manada'". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  11. ^ Reyes Rincón and Javier Lorente (22 June 2018). "La Manada sale de la cárcel porque el tribunal cree "impensable" que reincida". El País. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  12. ^ Hollywood hits out at gang-rape acquittal: Jessica Chastain and Rose McGowan condemn 'lenient' sentence in thinkspain.com
  13. ^ Sáiz, Eva (2018-09-25). "La Manada volverá a ser juzgada por otro delito de abuso sexual en Pozoblanco". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  14. ^ Press, Europa (2018-10-30). "Pozoblanco (Córdoba) declara personas 'non gratas' a los miembros de 'La Manada'". europapress.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  15. ^ Sáiz, Eva; González, Miguel (2018-10-25). "Expulsado del Ejército el militar de La Manada". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2018-11-06.

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