'It is not abuse, it is rape': they condemn 'La Manada' in Spain

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After three years of controversy and legal sentences, five young people in Spain have been convicted of raping a young woman at the San Fermín festivities in 2016

'It is not abuse, it is rape': they condemn 'La Manada' in Spain

Much has been said about the controversial case of five men who raped a young woman during the festivities of San Fermín in Pamplona in 2016. The victim had said at the time that five young men had abused her and had taken her clothes off, later on rape her.

Leer en español: ‘No es abuso, es violación’: condenan a ‘La Manada’ en España

Three years later, the Supreme Court has sentenced them to 15 years in prison. The sentence was issued for the continued crime of aggravated rape. The aggravating factors, which were those that ended up establishing the 15 years, were "humiliating treatment and joint action of two or more people", according to El Tiempo. In addition, one of the members of 'La Manada' was sentenced to two years more for having stolen the cell phone of the woman.

In addition to the 15 years of imprisonment, which will begin in the next few days after the authorities capture the five men, they must also compensate the woman with 100,000 euros and are prohibited of approaching her for 20 years.

The case of 'La Manada'

The case, broadly speaking, began as another adventure for the young people at the Pamplona festivities, but ended in the abuse of the young woman who subsequently denounced them. The case at the time went viral and, finally, they managed to find them guilty.

The name of 'La Manada' (The Pack) comes from the WhatsApp group that the young men had, that was the form by which the authorities could find them and determine that they were guilty. From some conversations of the young men through that WhatsApp group, where they insinuated to other friends who were not there, that they had been with a woman among the five.

After the event began to be known by the media, the friends began asking in the same group if they were the ones they were talking about:

- Five detainees 4 sexual assault

- Ain't those you?

-Iyo they are not them seriously, or are they?

-They have fucked one between 5 according to Jose Angel

-And there are 5 arrested for abusing a 19-year-old chic

During the investigations, it was also learned that months before the young men had also abused another woman.

The controversy

In addition to the fact itself, which caused outrage in Spain and around the world, the controversy was lifted by the first instance ruling, which determined the crime as sexual abuse and not for rape. In addition, it had given the five men provisional liberty.

On April 26, 2018, two years after the events, the judicial ruling of the complaint in which the five young men had raped a 19-year-old woman from Madrid was released. What was supposed to give them each 22 years in prison for the crime of rape, actually dictated that they will pay only 9 years for the crime of continued sexual abuse.

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The magistrates in charge of dictating the sentence determined that it was sexual abuse due to the fact that in the videos, which were found on the cell phone of one of those involved and were the main evidence, there was no intimidation or violence. One of the three magistrates even asked that the defendants be acquitted, since in the video there was only one scene of a sexual encounter that, although it was noticeable that there was no affective bond, occurred in a "rejoicing and group environment", according to El País.

The fact caused indignation of the society, because the differences, according to the Penal Code of Spain, are that in the sexual abuse there is no violence nor intimidation, whereas in sexual aggression and the violation (that is considered when there is penetration) there is. Clemencia de la Espriella, a psychologist and professor at the Universidad de la Sabana, told LatinAmerican Post that "they are often used as synonyms, and the risk is that it minimizes the damage, like what happened in that sentence with the case of 'La Manada'".

At that time, protests were held in the streets of Navarra, attended by more than 30,000 people. "It is not abuse, it is rape" was the motto of the demonstrations that sought to add importance to what it means the mistreatment of women.

After that, the ruling determined the current sentence that, according to one of the magistrates in charge of the case, is the final decision.


LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

Translated from "‘No es abuso, es violación’: condenan a ‘La Manada’ en España"

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