La Manada case in Spain: Why did one of the convicts benefit from a reduced sentence?

The decision of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarre opens the door for other people convicted to also have their sentences reduced for a continuing offense of sexual assault.

The interim spokesperson of the Spanish government, Isabel Rodríguez, recognized the decision of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra (TSJN) of reduce in one year -from 15 to 14 years- the prison sentence handed down by the Supreme Court to one of the five convicts of “La Manada” for the Sanfermines gang rape of 2016 in application of the aforementioned norm.

“It is this fact that gave birth to this standard that our country has also approved and that, as you well know and we have talked about it a lot in recent months, “This had some adverse effects, so it was fixed, just like this effect, and to prevent this from happening again in the future.” said Rodríguez during the press conference following the Council of Ministers, during which he recalled that it was precisely the judgment of this court that “inspired a social reaction, a reaction of women in favor of the need for greater protection for victims of violence and sexual assault. »

“No means no” or “It’s not abuse, it’s rape” were the slogans of the demonstrations organized in the context of the La Manada affair.

“Today our thoughts must go to the victim, accompany her as we have always done and with the way in which this norm gives complete protection to the victim, from the first moment until supporting her in the future with all the needs she may have”, a- he declared.

The Superior Court of Justice of Navarra on Tuesday accepted the appeal of José Ángel Boza (32 years old), the youngest of the group, and reduced the final resolution from 15 to 14 years. which was adopted by the Supreme Court in 2019. The decision, which can be appealed to the High Court, opens the door for others convicted to also have their sentences reduced for an ongoing crime of sexual assault, noted Diario de Navarre.

The resolution has a private dissenting vote of a judge who advocates reject the request for review of the sentence, while the two other magistrates support the reduction of the sentence, deemed “reasonable in accordance with the law, respectful of the fundamental legal rules for determining the sentence and accommodated to the criteria of proportionality”.

The Chamber maintains that Ángel Boza’s sentence should be reduced since the Supreme Court itself indicated in its judgment that imposed a sentence of 15 years, “near” or “near” the legal minimum, minimums that the aforementioned law “significantly” reduced.

The court thus revoked the decision of the Provincial Court, which had rejected Boza’s request for a reduction, which proposed going from 15 years to 13 years and 9 months. NOW, The matter will likely return to the Supreme Court.

In this image from the Pamplona festivities in 2016, a message hanging from a balcony says “No to sexual assault”.

Precisely, the case of La Manada and the social movement of rejection that generated not only the facts, but also the interpretation that the Court of Navarra made of them and their criminal qualification – ratified by the Superior Court of Justice of this community – , constituted the seed that eventually led to the current law to guarantee sexual freedom underlines the newspaper El País.

Known as the “law of yes only means yes”, this standard, which places consent as a determining element of sexual assault , unifies the crimes of sexual abuse and assault and reduces the minimum sentence for this new type of crime. It is the latter which allowed the reduced sentences for hundreds of sex offenders and, now, that of one of the culprits of this multiple rape, in the early hours of July 7, 2016, of a young 18-year-old from Madrid, during the Sanfermines, on the threshold of a building.

Ángel Boza, to whom the Supreme Court sentenced 15 years in prison, will be one year younger thanks to the application of the “law of only yes means yes” promoted by the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero. The Superior Court of Navarra applied the “Montero law” to Boza because it is more favorable to this serious crime than the old Penal Code and the current standard, according to the Spanish press.

“Consent and the right to sexual freedom must be guaranteed by all powers of the state. This decision by the TSJN is very painful, especially for the victim. We care for their pain and we know that all victims deserve reparation,” commented Montero. in your X account.

The victim received the news with great sadness, grief and disappointment, according to his lawyer, Teresa Hermida, who announced her intention to appeal the sentence. “Logically, we cannot agree, we understand that the parameters to carry out this resolution are not respected,” he explained.

According to the newspaper El Español, in the almost seven months it was in force (from October 7, 2022 to April 29), The “yes means yes” law reduced the sentences of 1,127 sex offenders of whom 115 had to be released due to early completion of their sentences.

Opposition parties, which have repeatedly attacked the government for pushing ahead with the changes despite warnings from judges, lawyers and parliamentarians, said the sentence was reduced. It was proof of the contempt of the government of socialist Pedro Sánchez towards victims of sexual assault reports the British newspaper The Guardian.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo, leader of the conservative Popular Party, said the consequences of the new law were a parody of the government’s vaunted feminist credentials . “No other government has treated sexual assault as a bigger laughing matter than this one,” he said.

Pepa Millán, spokesperson for the far-right Vox party, accused Montero of ignoring his warnings about the changes . “She and the entire government are responsible for the release of sex offenders and the harm women suffer as a result,” she said.

Source: Latercera

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