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Protests are being held across Spain after five men accused of the gang rape of a teenager during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona were found guilty of the lesser offence of sexual abuse. The attack two years ago prompted a national outcry , as did the subsequent trial, which was widely criticised as a cross-examination of the year-old woman rather than the men who attacked her.
The verdicts were delivered at a court in Pamplona, the capital of the Navarre region of northern Spain. Under Spanish law, the lesser offence of sexual abuse differs from rape in that it does not involve violence or intimidation. One of the judges argued that the men should have been cleared of all charges except the phone theft.
The victim was later found crying on a bench. She described her attackers to police, who arrested the five men the following day. Their defence lawyers claimed the woman had consented and had let one of the men kiss her. If the sex was consensual why had they taken her phone, Sarasate asked. The proceedings were also criticised after the judges accepted into evidence a report compiled by a private detective hired by some of the defendants. The detective had followed the woman over several days and produced photographs of her smiling with friends.
Prosecutors had sought jail terms of 22 years each. A spokeswoman for the Navarre regional government said it did not agree with the verdict and would also appeal. The verdicts were quickly and fiercely criticised by many senior politicians and human rights groups. We must have zero tolerance for sexual violence throughout society. Once again. Once again, what a disappointment. The prosecution, however, said the victim had been too terrified to move.
Topics Spain. Rape and sexual assault Gender Europe news. Reuse this content. Most popular.