A SPANISH court has cleared five men accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in Barcelona, convicting them instead of the lesser crime of sexual abuse
The court justified the decision on the grounds that the defendants ‘were able to commit sexual acts without using any type of violence or intimidation,’ because the victim was ‘unconscious’ from drugs and alcohol.
The men were convicted of the lesser crime of sexual abuse of a minor and sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in prison.
They had initially been charged with the more serious crime of sexual assault, which carries a longer jail sentence of between 15 and 20 years.
The crime took place in 2016 in a derelict industrial building in Manresa, a municipality in Barcelona.
The victim said that the gang’s ringleader, Bryan Andres, told the other four men that they had ‘15 minutes each,’ to take turns raping her, while he brandished a handgun.
Spain’s sexual assault laws were reviewed by a government comission last year.
The appraisal came about following the notorious ‘Wolf Pack’ rape case, in which a a gang of five men were initially cleared of sexual assault for gangraping a woman at the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona in 2016.
The court justified its ruling by saying that the men had not used violence against their victim.
However, the Spanish Supreme Court overturned the ruling this year and convicted the men of the more serious crime of rape, increasing their sentences to 15 years.
The ruling PSOE government is yet to implement the recommendations made by the commission into Spain’s sexual assault laws.
The similarities between the Barcelona case and the Pamplona one has led to the defendants being labeled ‘The Wolf Pack of Manresa.’