Three members of a gang that raped an 18-year-old woman in an abandoned industrial warehouse in the Catalan city of Sabadell two years ago have received sentences of between 13 and a half and 31 years.
The attack became known as the “Sabadell wolf pack case” in reference to the notorious gang rape that took place in the Pamplona bull run five years ago, which sparked outrage throughout Spain and spurred calls for a revision of national legislation on sexual offenses.
On Friday, three judges from a Barcelona court found the trio guilty of sexual assault, saying they had “created a scary scene similar to that generated by a violent gang.” A fourth man was acquitted because there was no evidence to locate him at the scene of the rape when it occurred.
The court heard that the victim was returning from a night out with friends in the early morning of February 3, 2019 when the gang seized her and took her to the industrial unit. There she was raped by three men: one received a 31-year sentence, another remains unidentified and a third escaped.
In their sentencing statements, the judges said that the three convicts had “actively worked together to create an intimidating atmosphere,” adding that one of the defendants had raped the victim and acted as a necessary collaborator with the other two men. . The other two were jailed for conspiring in the rape by being present and doing nothing to prevent it.
The sentence coincided with the interpretation of complicity of the Spanish Supreme Court in relation to the Pamplona case, saying: “Although they did not materially participate in the repeated violations committed against the victim, they did nothing to prevent not only the initiation of these attacks but also their continuation and termination, acting instead as indifferent bystanders. “
The judges ordered the men, who are Moroccan citizens in an irregular situation in Spain, to pay the victim 60,000 euros (£ 52,000) in compensation and said they could be deported after the appeal process is over.
The case of Pamplona, which became known as the In the sense (wolf pack) after the rapists’ WhatsApp group name – sparked nationwide protests in 2018 after the men were acquitted of gang rape and convicted on the lesser charge of sexual abuse. It also forced politicians and the judiciary to reexamine the laws of the country.
The following year, Spain’s Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s verdict, ruling that all five were guilty of gang rape and increasing their sentences from nine to 15 years each.
This Tuesday the same court in Navarra that initially acquitted the five of rape acquitted a man of sexually abusing his 14-year-old stepdaughter after she said she had sex with him without his knowledge while he was drunk and asleep on a couch. A DNA test confirmed that he is the father of the boy’s baby, who was born in December 2018.
In October 2019, five men accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in the Catalan town of Manresa were acquitted of sexual assault and convicted of sexual abuse on the grounds that the victim was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism