World: Outrage in Spain over verdict in gang sex attack on teen - - PressFrom - US
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World Outrage in Spain over verdict in gang sex attack on teen

15:40  01 november  2019
15:40  01 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The verdict is likely to intensify the debate over whether the country’s judiciary treats victims of sexual attacks fairly, coming after a 2018 court verdict in a gang rape in Pamplona had roiled the Women’s associations in Spain have been pushing the judiciary to treat all forms of rape more forcefully.

A verdict is due in the trial of five men accused of gang -rape during the running of the bulls festival in The case has caused outrage in Spain . “The rape victim has been put in the position of The detective had followed the woman over the course of several days and produced photographs of her

Women's groups and legal experts demanded Friday that Spain's laws be changed after five men accused of gang-raping an unconscious 14-year-old girl were convicted on a lesser charge of sexual abuse.

a person holding a sign: A similar case involving the 2016 gang rape of a woman in Pamplona sparked mass protests© ANDER GILLENEA A similar case involving the 2016 gang rape of a woman in Pamplona sparked mass protests

A Barcelona court on Thursday ruled out the more serious charge of sexual assault -- the legal equivalent of rape in Spain -- on the grounds that the victim was in an "unconscious state" from drugs and alcohol and the accused had not used "any type of violence or intimidation" in the attack.

The five men were handed between 10 and 12 years in prison. A conviction for sexual assault would have carried jail sentences of between 15 and 20 years.

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Thursday’s verdict came after five months of deliberation by judges. Prosecutors had sought jail terms of 22 years each. The woman’s lawyer said she was disappointed with the sentence and would appeal against Move follows outrage over release of la manada gang who assaulted woman in Pamplona.

Two other defendants were acquitted of involvement in the attack which took place in October 2016 at a party at an abandoned factory in the town of Manresa in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

"The problem is not the verdict, it's the criminal code" which states that intimidation or violence must be proven for a person to be convicted of rape, said Montserrat Comas of the progressive Judges for Democracy association in Catalonia.

Spain's laws must be changed to define rape as all sex without consent, as is the case in most other European nations and as required by Istanbul Convention, an international treaty on preventing and combating violence against women which Madrid ratified in 2014, she told news radio Cadena Ser.

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A Spanish court's controversial decision to clear five men of gang rape is upheld by appeal judges. Among those outraged by the verdict was Pedro Sánchez, who has since become Some of the men filmed the attack on their phones and sent it around their WhatsApp chat group entitled "La manada".

Renewed outrage in Spain . Women's groups have condemned the latest reports as both a consequence of media coverage of the initial Pamplona attack but also of the way victims are treated by the Spanish judicial system. Many saw the attack , one day after the Pamplona gang were freed

"The facts are especially horrendous because we are talking about a 14-year-old minor," Comas said.

The case has been likened to the so-called "Wolf Pack" gang rape of a young woman in Pamplona in July 2016 during the northern city's famed bull-running festival which also sparked outrage.

In 2018, five Spanish men were first sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual abuse in that case, leading to widespread protests and calls for a review of Spain's rape laws.

In June the Supreme Court increased their sentences to 15 years each by requalifying the charges as sexual assault.

Following the initial Pamplona verdict, Spain's Socialist government announced plans to reform the criminal code to stipulate that a woman must give her explicit consent for sex but so far no changes have been made.

Marisa Soleto, head of the Women's Foundation pro-equality group, said in a tweet that the ruling in the Manresa case "was further proof of the need to change the law".

And Altamira Gonzalo of the women jurists' group Themis said she felt "much shame and powerlessness" over the verdict.

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