A jury in Castellón – the verdict has been supported by seven of the nine members – has found a 62-year-old man guilty of homicide for the suicide of a 17-year-old minor to whom he sent up to 119 harassing messages on WhatsApp after contacting by a dating website. The events occurred in 2016 and the young man took his own life after receiving more than a hundred threatening messages with phrases such as “you are going to cry tears of blood” for several hours.
As reported by the newspaper The country, the defendant, VP, “was aware of the anguish he was causing” to the minor, and despite this, he continued with the harassment. For this conduct, and the consequences it provoked, the Public Ministry demands 14 years in prison, while the private prosecution asks for fifteen years, a sentence that the judge must specify once the guilty verdict is known. The defense has requested that the minimum sentences be imposed and has announced the intention to appeal the sentence.
Both the public ministry and the private prosecution have requested the defendant’s immediate entry into prison, since, as explained by the prosecutor, there is a possible risk of escape given the seriousness of the penalties that are going to be imposed. The defense has opposed this request.
The members of the jury have considered that the police proceedings carried out were correct because the chain of custody of the minor’s cell phone was maintained. In addition, they have proven that the victim indicated to the accused on several occasions that he was a minor, apologized and warned him that he was going to commit suicide.
In spite of everything, according to the popular jury, the defendant kept up his threats by pressuring the minor. The members of the jury have indicated that, after the WhatsApp messages with the minor, the defendant was aware of the anguish that he was causing him.