×
5 Men Acquitted Of Rape Because Unconscious Teen Victim Did Not Fight Back

5 Men Acquitted Of Rape Because Unconscious Teen Victim Did Not Fight Back

The court said the victim 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."

A court in Barcelona has reportedly cleared five men of sexual assault charges on Thursday because the crime did not fit the legal definition of rape as the unconscious teenage victim didn't fight back, according to CNN. Spanish law states that a sexual attack can only be classified as an assault or rape if the perpetrator uses violence or intimidation. Since the 14-year-old victim was unconscious at the time, the five were convicted of a lesser charge of sexual abuse. However, this case has now put pressure on the government, asking them to change the law and classify any sexual act without consent as an assault.



 

 

The Barcelona court sentenced the five men to 10 to 12 years in prison, even though the prosecution argued that they should be charged with assault. The victim was at a party in Manresa, a town northwest of Barcelona, in 2016. The group of men was partying in an abandoned factory when the victim consumed "alcohol and drugs" and lost consciousness. A statement on the court's website says that the men then took turns to perform sexual acts on the teenager. 



 

 

"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. However, the court said the victim 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."



 

 

The court said the attack had to be classified as sexual abuse because "it has been proven that the victim, while the events took place ... was in a state of unconsciousness," according to a statement published on its website. The court also awarded the victim 12,000 euros ($13,400) in damages. Two more men attending the party were acquitted of all crimes, the court said. The case caused widespread protest in Spain in response to a similar case in which five men, dubbed "the Wolf Pack," were originally acquitted of rape and convicted of abuse. 



 

 

However, Spain's Supreme Court overturned the decision and sentenced the men to 15 years in prison for rape. There was evidently a flaw in the legal system. The court in Barcelona said in the press release that the attack "cannot fit into any other criminal typology" because the attackers "could perform sexual acts without using any type of violence or intimidation." This explanation caused mayhem as people wanted the laws to be changed. 



 

 

The Spanish Association of Women Judges has previously called for a reform of the law, urging the government to act quickly. Lucia Avilés, a judge and a member of the association, said on Twitter on Friday that the issue has not yet been addressed, despite the fact that Spain has signed and ratified the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women, which stipulates that sex without consent is rape.



 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

Recommended for you