FIVE members of the infamous Wolf Pack have been found guilty of rape after the Supreme Court overturned a previous decision.
The defendants have been jailed for 15 years each and been forbidden from contacting or approaching the victim for 20 years. They will also have to pay her €100,000 compensation.
A regional court had acquitted the men of rape but convicted them of the lesser charge of sexual assault.
José Ángel Prenda, Alfonso Cabezuelo, Antonio Manuel Guerrero, Jesús Escudero and Ángel Boza were originally given nine years each plus five years’ probation and ordered to pay €10,000 each to the woman.
Their victim, who was 18 at the time, appealed the decision, as did the defendants, who called themselves “the Wolf Pack” in a social media messaging group.
The men raped the woman in a doorway in the early hours of the morning at the 2016 San Fermin festival.
A rape charge in Spain requires the victim to show there was evidence of intimidation or violence such as showing a knife or hitting the victim. The lower court decided this case did not meet those requirements as the woman was passive and did not struggle.
But the Supreme Court has decided otherwise.
In its judgement the court said that the victim had been subjected to “a genuinely intimidating scenario in which she never consented to the sexual acts perpetrated by the accused.
“This intimidating situation led the victim to adopt an attitude of submission, doing what the perpetrators told her to do, despite the distress and intense strain … The accused took advantage of this to commit acts against the victim’s freedom, among them at least 10 sexual assaults.” These included rape.
In a tweet, Spain’s acting deputy prime minister and equalities minister, Carmen Calvo, said that this decision “recognised the credibility of the victim.”
She added that the decision was compatible with a governmental proposal to change the law. The aim is to clearly distinguish between rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.
The convicted men can appeal to the Spanish Constitutional Court and then the European Court of Justice.