Sunday, June 13

The Court does not appreciate a crime in persecuting a woman and calling her “slut” and “vixen”


The Alicante Provincial Court has reversed the sentence imposed by a court on three minors from San Vicente del Raspeig who followed a woman when she was walking alone, saying obscenities such as “slut” or “vixen”. The three adolescents were sentenced last November by the Juvenile Court number 1 of Alicante to carry out “a socio-educational task” of a maximum duration of six months on education in respectful values. It considered them authors of a minor crime of coercion due to the fear created in the woman, but the Court understands that said legal qualification does not concur and agrees the acquittal of the three minors, one of them defended by the lawyer Santiago Talavera Vico, a lawyer who appealed the conviction.

The facts that the Juvenile Court number 1 of Alicante declared proven occurred shortly before nine o’clock at night on June 26, 2019 on Pi y Margall street in San Vicente del Raspeig. Three minors aged 16 and 17 followed a young woman who was walking in front of them and began to utter expressions such as “bitch, bitch, suck it, bitch.”

This situation, adds the ruling, created fear in the woman, as there were no more pedestrians in the area and forced her to accelerate her pace “scared». In the end, she took advantage of the appearance of an elderly couple to stop and let the adolescents pass in order to prevent them from continuing to follow her.

After being convicted as perpetrators of a minor offense of coercion, the defense lawyer of one of the young people, Santiago Talavera, appealed the ruling considering that it was not a case of coercion and that the conduct of the young people does not deserve criminal punishment having disappeared from the Penal Code unjust injuries and humiliations of a minor nature except in the cases of certain family or affective relationships.

Moral integrity

The court of the Tenth Section of the Hearing considers that the facts described in the sentence of the Juvenile Court would be framed in the crime of attack against the moral integrity by degrading treatment if it met “the requirements of seriousness and permanence” that is included in the jurisprudence.

The Audience indicates that It does not appear that the behavior of the minors intended that the victim interrupted their free wandering, “But rather that his conduct was presided over by a spirit of humiliating, harassing or annoying, mistreating a person, no matter how much the complainant’s reaction was one of fear.”

For this reason, it considers that the requirements of the crime of coercion do not meet and the existence of possible unfair humiliations of a slight nature would only fit. However, the Penal Code only punishes these behaviors in cases of gender and domestic violence, hence the Court revokes the conviction and agrees to acquit the three minors.

Fear

By contrast, for the Juvenile Magistrate who issued the first conviction, the behavior of the youth exceeds the simple slight injury or of the unjust humiliation and points out that the fear created to the victim “prevents him from acting as he normally would have done, walking calmly on public roads, without being overwhelmed, without having to accelerate or stop.”

The Juvenile Court ruling adds that this fear is perfectly understandable if one considers that “it was a single woman who was followed by three young people shouting obscenities at her, walking down a street that, according to the minors themselves, was empty, and was also the shops closed ».

The three minors now acquitted were identified in their day by the Local Police of San Vicente del Raspeig after a young woman reported having been the victim of verbal harassment of a sexual nature in the heart of the municipality.


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