13 Apr, 2023 @ 18:00
1 min read

Number of sex offenders released early under Spain’s ‘yes means yes’ consent law now exceeds 100

THE NUMBER of convicted sex offenders who have secured early release from prison thanks to a controversial new consent law has now passed the 100 mark, and stands at 103. 

That’s according to Spain’s legal watchdog, the CGPJ, which also confirmed that 943 more convicts have had their sentences reduced thanks to the legislation, dubbed ‘only yes means yes’.

Sources from the CGPJ told Europa Press that the number could rise yet further in the coming days as provincial and regional courts update their statistics.

The ‘Full Guarantee of Sexual Freedom Act’ was drafted by the Equality Ministry, which is run by leftist Unidas Podemos, and was aimed at ensuring that consent be given before sexual relations and that it cannot be assumed to have been granted either by default or with silence. 

It came into force in October, but had the unexpected effect of allowing judges to either reduce the sentences of convicted sex offenders or even grant them early release. 

This was because under some aggravating circumstances, the minimum sentences were lowered by the ‘yes means yes’ act. Under Spanish law, these minimum sentences must be applied retroactively. 

The controversy has caused tensions between Unidas Podemos and its senior partner in the coalition government, the Socialist Party (PSOE).

While it initially supported the law, the PSOE has since proposed changes that would avoid these sentence reductions. 

Unidas Podemos has filed amendments to the PSOE’s proposals, but the main governing party made clear earlier this week that it would not accept them and that it would press ahead with its planned changes.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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