A COURT in Pamplona has handed down prison sentences of nine years for each of the five men found guilty of sexual assault during the Running of the Bulls festival.
The defendants, all in their late 20’s, were acquitted of rape charges over accusations they all assaulted an 18-year-old woman during San Fermin in July 2016.
Protestors gathered outside the court building in opposition to the acquittal. “It’s rape, not abuse,” they reportedly chanted.
The court heard during the trial the men, who were members of a WhatsApp group named La manada (wolf pack) approached the woman, from Madrid, during the festival.
Two of them then reportedly led her into a basement of a block of flats after finding her in the street.
Police claimed they then surrounded her, removed her clothes and had unprotected sex with her. Seven videos totalling 96 seconds each were recorded of the assault on the defendant’s phones.
The woman was later found by a couple in the street near to where the attack was said to have taken place. She is currently undergoing psychological treatment for trauma, the court heard.
The defendants included Jose Angel Prenda, 28, who is considered the group’s leader. Another defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also admitted to stealing the woman’s phone and is believed to have recorded many of the videos.
Alfonso Jesus Cabezuelo, a 29-year-old military officer, Jesus Escudero, 27 and Angel Boza, 26, were also sentenced at the court for their part in the assault.