Court dismisses homophobic assault case and accuses victims of exhibitionism

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A JUDGE in Almeria has accused Luis Guillermo and Ricardo de Frutos, a gay couple who denounced an alleged assault on Torregarcia beach in June 2014, of exhibitionism and released a man without charge.

In June 2014, Luis and Ricardo were strolling naked towards the water at Torregarcia beach in Cabo de Gata when a man shouted, “Not another step,” and reportedly used a homophobic term of abuse.

According to witnesses, the verbal dispute escalated to blows, with Luis requiring stitches for a head wound, while Ricardo was kicked in the side repeatedly, losing consciousness. Police were called and the man and his son were arrested. The injury report, police statement and testimony of several witnesses were delivered to court.

In October 2014 Ricardo raised a complaint against the judicial system because his section had been shelved without him being able to testify. Ricardo commented: “We have to be careful because the attitude of both the judiciary system and the police in these cases is not friendly.”

In February 2015, a questionnaire was sent to Almeria Council by investigating judge Maria del Mar Cruz in which it was questioned whether the beach permitted nudist use, which has resulted in the assault case being binned by the court and the two men being accused of indecent exposure.

Ricardo and Luis say they feel stigmatised by the decision and said: “Laws since 1978 allow any citizen to exercise his right to freedom and go to any beach naked, unless an ordinance expressly forbids it.”

TrustLaw Almeria has taken the case with lawyers Salvador Benitez and Manuel Ocaña appealing the decision. The lawyers described the attack as, “obviously homophobic and displaying obvious sexual orientation discrimination.”

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