Abandoned warehouse in the Can Feu neighborhood of Sabadell where the multiple rape occurred. (Photo: .)
The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has confirmed the conviction of three of the four defendants for the multiple rape of a young woman in an abandoned warehouse in Sabadell, Barcelona, in February 2019, but it has reduced from 31 to 22 years of jail the sentence to the main defendant.
In one order, the civil and criminal court has thus rejected the appeals presented by the convicted against the decision of the Barcelona Court, which condemned one of them as the material author of a sexual assault and necessary cooperator of two other violations, two as accomplices for contributing to generate a climate of terror and acquitted another for not being accredited that he was in the place.
However, it has also chosen to partially uphold the appeal of the main defendant, to whom the sentence has been reduced to 22 years on the grounds that, instead of being a necessary cooperator, he acted as an accomplice, like his colleagues.
“According to this Court of Appeal, the logic of the system is either to consider the three defendants, either necessary cooperators or accomplices for the crimes in which they have participated, but what makes no sense is to convict R. and to J. for the three crimes of third parties in which they participate, and instead, to MA, a necessary cooperator in the two crimes in which he participates “being that his” intervention or action is the same “.
The events date back to the early morning of February 2 to 3, 2019 when the 18-year-old girl was approached by a man who could not be identified at the exit of a leisure center in Sabadell, who grabbed her by the neck , put her against the wall and sexually assaulted her to later lead her to an occupied warehouse that had been the headquarters of a bank branch.
Once there, the first aggressor took her to a cabin where he raped her and was forced to have sex in turns with two other men, until, once outside the ship, she managed to flee with the help of a family that was leaving in car from a nearby garage.
The story was “consistent”
According to the TSJC, the victim’s account was “consistent, seamless, persistent over time and absent of any note of disbelief” and the terms that he used during his statement at the trial were not “exclusively legal, but of use common and do not denote a preparation in the statement, beyond the necessary psychological assistance that the victim acknowledged receiving “.
The court has thus rejected the argument made by the defense that the victim’s statement was “very prepared and very technical” and has insisted, as the Hearing did in its sentence, that the young woman’s version is “credible.”
The court has also contested that the right to effective judicial protection of the convicted has been violated and has emphasized that this is not “synonymous” with the fact of having been convicted “in a case with certain public relevance.” The trial in this case, which was held at the beginning of April, raised controversy after the prosecutor Eduardo Gutiérrez subjected the young woman to an incisive interrogation, which once again put the dilemma on the re-victimization of the victims of sexual offenses.
Several sectors criticized the constant interruptions of the public prosecutor’s office, which even questioned the victim about whether she was sure of what she was narrating. But various associations of prosecutors came to Gutiérrez’s defense and explained that it was a strategy to shore up the young woman’s story, which she considered “perfectly true and credible” in her final report.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.