Five men cleared of rape because unconscious 14-year old didn't fight back

By Mirror | Sunday, Nov 3rd 2019 at 15:00
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A group of men have been acquitted of gang-raping a 14-year-old because she didn't fight back.

Although sexual contact took place between the five men and the teenage girl, the court was only able to try the men with the lesser charge of sexual abuse.

Under Spanish law, a sexual attack can only be classified as assault or rape if the perpetrators use violence or intimidation.

The attack took place at a part in Manresa, a town in northwest Barcelona, back in 2016.

The court heard how the victim consumed a quantity of alcohol and drugs in the abandoned factory before falling unconscious.

Taking it in turns, the men then performed sex acts on her while she lay unconscious.

Despite the fact the woman was unable to consent because she was underage and not conscious, because the men were not violent or intimidating they could not be convicted of rape.

"The sexual attack on the victim was extremely intense and especially denigrating, and in addition, it was produced on a minor who was in a helpless situation," the court said in the press release, CNN reported.

The statement went on to note that the teenager was "in a state of unconsciousness ... without being able to determine and accept or oppose the sexual relations maintained with defendants, who could perform sexual acts without using any type of violence or intimidation."

Because the victim was "in a state of unconsciousness" the attack had to be classified as sexual abuse, the press release continued.

The men were sentenced to between ten and 12 years in prison, with the victim awarded €12,000.

Two other men who were at the party were acquitted of all crimes.

The case bore resemblance to a trial that caused shock waves in Spanish society in 2018.

In April last year protesters came out in their thousands after five men were cleared of gang raping a teenager at a Spanish bull-running festival.

The acquittal came despite the fact they filmed the attacked and laughed about it on WhatsApp.

When the men were instead convicted of lesser offences following the attack at the Pamplona festival in 2016, furious demonstrations broke out across Spain and in front of Spanish embassies across the world.

Following pressure to upgrade their charges to rape, prosecutors successfully convinced the country's supreme court to reclassify their crime.

In June this year it was announced the five men would face 15-year sentences for the more serious charge, upgraded from nine years.

One of the men was sentenced to an additional two years in jail for stealing the victim’s phone.

The men raped the then 18-year-old woman at the entrance to an apartment building in Pamplona on July 7, 2016, at the start of the week-long San Fermin bull-running festival.

They filmed the incident with their smartphones and then bragged about it on WhatsApp where they referred to themselves as "La Manada," or "The Pack".

One of the men stole the woman's mobile phone following the attack, leaving her with no means of contacting her friend.

She was found crying on a bench by a couple who rang the police when she said she had been sexually assaulted.

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