31 May, 2024 @ 14:22
1 min read

Gypsy, 20, is acquitted after raping and impregnating a 12-year-old girl in Spain because ‘it’s part of their culture’

Gypsy, 20, is acquitted after raping and impregnating a 12-year-old girl in Spain because ‘it’s part of their culture’

A ROMA gypsy has been acquitted by a Ciudad Real court of raping a 12-year-old girl- who became pregnant with twins- as it was ‘normal’ behaviour within his community.

The man, 20, began a relationship with the child two years ago ‘with the agreement’ of both families’, the court said.

After his arrest, he told police that he did not know the exact age of the minor.


The Public Prosecutor’s Office wanted him jailed for 11 years and six months for the offence of penetrative sexual abuse against a minor aged under 16 years.

The court though found him not guilty by applying an article of the Penal Code which states that consent under the age of 16 may exclude criminal liability when the perpetrator is a person close in age to the minor and have the same degree of physical and psychological development or maturity.

The Ciudad Real Provincial Court said in its written judgement that ‘beyond question’ that the ‘relationship is framed in the cultural and social sphere of the Roma community, where marriages of very young people are frequent’.

It stated the sexual relationship was ‘always consensual’ and that the child gave her consent.

The court explained that the man believed that she was older and only discovered that she was 12 years old when they went to the doctor about her pregnancy.

The bench stated the minor appeared to be 15 years in age- both in physical terms and her general development.

It reiterated that it is not possible to ‘ignore the cultural and social environment in which the relationship developed’ and emphasised that both the defendant and the child ‘highlight the normality of their conduct in the Roma world’.

This is not the first time that a Spanish court has used the Roma culture when prosecuting a sexual offence against a girl under the age of 16.

The Leon Provincial Court set aside a rape sentence given to a man who who had sex with a child on three occasions between the ages of 12 and 15 because it considered that in the ‘gypsy culture, couple unions occur at very early ages’ and that therefore acted as a mitigating factor.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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