The Supreme Court (TS) has ruled that the appeal for cassation filed by the defense of the members of the WhatsApp group ‘La Manada’ has “no place” Antonio Manuel Guerrero Escudero and Alfonso Jesus Cabezuelo, sentenced to 15 years in prison for a continuing crime of raping a young woman in Sanfermines of 2016, against the judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra (TSJN) that confirmsan additional sentence of three years and three months in prison and 5,670 euros of fine imposed on both by the Second Section of the Audiencia de Navarra, for a crime against privacy by the videos and photos they took of the gang rape subject of his initial conviction.
This has been decided by the Supreme Court in a sentence issued on December 15, advanced by Diario de Sevilla and collected by Europa Press, in relation to the former civil guard and the former military members of the aforementioned WhatsApp group.
In their appeal, the defense of Antonio Manuel Guerrero Escudero and Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo wielded an alleged violation of the right to a trial with all guarantees, pointing out the “lack of complaint by the victim” in relation to the images of the events, since the Penal Code “requires a complaint from the victim for the prosecution of the crime” and the case initially pursued against the aforementioned members of the WhatsApp group ‘La Manada’, among them Guerrero Escudero and Cabezuelo, “sought to clarify the possible commission of a crime of sexual assault” for which the five defendants were finally convicted and a crime against property for the theft of the complainant’s mobile phone, but “never” alluded to an alleged crime against privacy.
The first evidence that Guerrero Escudero and Cabezuelo had of the accusation against them for an alleged crime against privacy, as stated by their defense, was in the brief of provisional conclusions of the Prosecutor’s Office in the procedure corresponding to crimes of sexual assault and property, an extreme to which the other accusations were added.
Let us remember that for those facts, the five defendants were sentenced by the Audiencia de Navarra to nine years in prison for a continuing crime of sexual abuse with prevaluationThis is confirmed by the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra, which also ordered the Court to issue a new sentence exclusively in relation to the crime against privacy; by not appreciating the procedural obstacles invoked in the initial sentence and which had motivated the acquittal of the accused with respect to this aspect.
Subsequently, in July 2019, the Supreme Court revoked the initial conviction, condemning all the accused to the aforementioned 15 years for a continuous crime of sexual assault and two more years to Guerrero Escudero for a crime of robbery with intimidation of the victim’s mobile phone. In November 2019, the Second Section of the Hearing issued its new sentence regarding the crime against privacy, condemning Guerrero Escudero and Cabezuelo for said crime and acquitting the remaining three defendants.
In this sense, and in relation to the appeal of the defense of Guerrero Escudero and Cabezuelo, the Supreme Court recalls that the Supreme Court, in its aforementioned judgment, partially upheld an appeal against the accusations and rejected “the line of argument of the Hearing, which he had acquitted of a crime against privacy by estimating that there was no prosecution assumption in the form of a complaint by the victim “.
To this end, the Supreme Court maintains that the “new deliberation” of the Court in relation to the crime against privacy derived from the decision of the Supreme Court has allowed the defendants “to reinforce their random possibilities through separate appeals and cassation resources focused exclusively on that crime”.
In parallel, and with respect to the lack of a complaint by the victim regarding the crime against privacy, the Supreme Court determines that “What is decisive is that the victim expresses the will to activate the jurisdictional treatment of the offense suffered“, which leads the court to point out that in this case,” the accusation has been promoted in the different instances “related to the crime against privacy.
“It would be pointless to leave unprejudiced a serious crime against privacy, contemporary to a group sexual assault, because the victim did not mention aspects in her initial complaint that she was not aware of at the time and that were revealed during the investigation and whose circumstantial reality was revealed in the indictment, “indicates the Supreme Court, noting that” the exercise of the private prosecution “in that sense has shown that” the budget of prosecution “.
And although “if the indictment of the Prosecutor’s Office or the rest of the parties had expanded the factual account by including sequences not described in the indictment, the principles of contradiction and the right to defense would have been violated,” the Supreme Court warns that “the relevance of these recordings has been present in the indictment and in the briefs of qualification of the accusations “, before which” the accused have been able to defend themselves with equal arms. ”
Thus, the Supreme Court determines that the appeal for cassation filed by the defense of Antonio Manuel Guerrero Escudero and Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo against the Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the decision of the Audiencia de Navarra to sentence them to three years and three months in prison and 5,670 euros of fine, as perpetrators of a crime against privacy derived from the aforementioned video and photographs, a conviction derived from the pronouncement of the Supreme Court ordering the Court to issue a sentence exclusively on this crime.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.