SPAIN has once again placed itself in the centre of a sexual abuse scandal after five men have been acquitted of the rape of a 14 year old girl.
The five men were cleared of rape and convicted of the lesser crime of sexual abuse as the victim was unconscious at the time.
According to Spanish law, the crime if rape is only recorded if the victim does not give their consent, and in this case, as the girl was unconscious at the time, it meant that the attackers did not need to use violence or intimidation.
The five men have been sentenced to 10-12 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of €12,000.
The original incident occurred in Manresa, near Barcelona back in 2016. The victim met with the group of men to go drinking in an abandoned factory.
According to the court report, the girl became unconscious due to drink and drugs consumed and therefore “could not accept or reject the sexual relations” and that the men “could carry out those sexual relations without the use of violence or intimidation.”
The decision has once again opened up the massive loophole in the Spanish judicial system after the infamous Wolf Pack attacks in Bilbao and Pamplona.
Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, has condemned the ruling, calling the sentence “outrageous” and explaining “I am not a judge and I do not know how many years in prison they deserve, what I do know is that it is not abuse, it is rape!”
Colau, along with other left wing politicians and women’s rights groups are pushing for a change in the judicial system in Spain so that it does not favour the attackers over the victims of rape.
Marisa Soleto, of the feminist group Fundación Mujeres, said that “this is just one more piece of proof for the necessity to change the penal code.”