Outrage after Spain's "patriarchal" court verdict clears two men of rape because "it was not violent"

Eight months after five men were cleared of raping a teenage girl, another court has spared a uncle and nephew of rape charges as there was no violence involved


                            Outrage after Spain's "patriarchal" court verdict clears two men of rape because "it was not violent"

A court's verdict to clear two men of rape despite the victim begging them to stop has prompted outrage in Spain. The court in Lleida in north-eastern Spain jailed the uncle and nephew for four-and-a-half years for sexual abuse, rather than for rape.

This has led to a massive outcry and a similar verdict in a gang rape case this year has witnessed large demonstrations against "patriarchal" justice. Five men, who dubbed themselves 'the wolf pack', were cleared of raping a teenage woman during the San Fermín bull-running festival in Pamplona just eight months ago. 

And now, another court in Spain has cleared two men of raping a woman by ruling that a man and his nephew sexually abused rather than raped the woman - because there was no violence involved. 

They were jailed for four-and-a-half years instead of the maximum rape sentence of 15 years, infuriating the citizens once again. 

The victim met the two men in a bar before accompanying them to a nightclub. Afterwards, the men, whose ages are unclear, forced her into intercourse and a sex act in a back alley.

The court ruled that the men "took advantage of her vulnerable nature, which, added to her consumption of alcohol and antidepressants, may have weakened her ability to defend herself, thus making the use of violent or intimidatory acts unnecessary."

This verdict has prompted the ire of many as it states that without the use of violence or intimidation from the men, they couldn't be tried for rape.  

The controversial judgment comes just two days away of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - wherein activists plan to stage 200 demonstrations.  

Many have taken to social media to express their utter disbelief.



 



 



 



 



 

The reaction online echoes the sentiment of April's verdict on the five men, who had recorded a video of the attack on their mobile phones and laughed about the incident on a Whatsapp group. They were charged with the lesser crime of sexual abuse instead of rape with a jail sentence of nine years only. The five men included a former policeman and a former soldier, who surrounded the woman, stripping her clothes and having unprotected sex while recording the encounter. 

Thousands gathered in cities across Spain from Seville to Barcelona and outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid bearing placards and shouting "It's not abuse, it's rape."

 

The BBC reported that after the "wolf pack" ruling, Spain's government asked a group of legal experts to revise the sexual assault laws, with a view to unifying the different offenses under the umbrella term rape.