The Supreme Court in Spain sentences five men to 15 years in prison for the rape of a woman during the running of the bulls festival. The incident occurred three years ago in the city of Pamplona and is which stands as a landmark for women’s right in the country.
The initial ruling that includes a nine-year prison sentence for each of the men led to mass protests and debate in Spain. The contest is over whether there is bias against women in cases of sexual assault.
In Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court states the victim at no point consented to the sexual acts carried out by the accused.
The men sought to present the victim as a consenting sexual partner who suffered no lasting damage from the assault.
Pamplona “Wolf Pack” All Receive 15 Year In Prison For Rape
According to the court, the woman, who was 18 at the time, had adopted an attitude of submission. Her reason was because of intimidation and because she could not escape from her attackers.
The five men labeled themselves as a “manada,” a term often used to refer to a wolf pack. The trial of the men provokes outrage among women’s groups.
The assault took place in July 2016 during the festival in Pamplona. These activities have become one of Spain’s main tourist attractions, as people watch participants try to dodge bulls.
The five men attacked the woman in early morning hours, using their cellphones to film the assault.
A lower court found the five men guilty of the continuous sexual abuse of the woman in the initial verdict. However, Sexual abuse differs from rape in that it doesn’t involve violence or intimidation under Spanish law.
One of the judges at the time argued that the men should have been cleared of all charges except the theft of her cellphone.
During a national outcry, there was an appeal by the regional authorities, the victim, and the public prosector.
The five men were detained by police shortly after the Supreme Court released its ruling on Friday. After two years in prison, the men were released in June 2018 and ordered to surrender their passports. They also had to report to court three times a week while the case awaited the Supreme Court review.