A court’s surprising decision to clear two men of rape despite the victim begging them to stop has prompted outrage in Spain.
Two men, an uncle and nephew, met the female victim in bar before they visited a nightclub. The men then took her to a secluded area, where she was forced to have sex without her consent. She begged the perpetrators to stop but they didn’t. The victim cried and then vomited after the act.
The court decision in Lleida, Spain, sentenced the uncle and nephew to four and a half years for sexual abuse, rather than the more serious offense of sexual assault, which could be a 15-year jail sentence.
The court ruled that the two men had not committed a sexual assault, the equivalent to rape in Spain, because they were deemed not to have used intimidation or violence.
Spanish feminists have become more emboldened after a court ruled in April that five men had not used intimidation or violence against a sex victim in 2016. The men dragged the 18-year-old into an alcove and filmed their assault using their cell phones.
The victim said at trial she froze, and the judges who witnessed the videos said she was acting “passive or neutral.”
Since then, mass protests have spread across the country and a series of 200 demonstrations are expected this weekend to mark United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.