The Supreme Court has confirmed a sentence of eight and a half years in prison for a former head of a food bank in Almería for sexually abusing a woman in need from whom he extorted food. The judges understand that the accused acted taking advantage of his “situation of superiority” and the “marked social and personal asymmetry” that existed between the two to demand sexual relations in exchange for giving him food and help.
The convicted Víctor HM was then in charge of distributing food to disadvantaged people on behalf of the Evangelical Church La Puerta in the Almeria town of Níjar. Without permission from the heads of the entity, he moved the warehouse to his own garage, in 2014 he contacted a woman who was in a “manifest situation of exclusion and need”, according to Justice. She first gave him food outside the official channels but then the abuse began.
The victim, at his insistence, ended up agreeing. He did it, according to the Supreme Court, because the situation was “desperate” and he did not have “basic food for his dependent children.” When the victim subsequently refused to continue having sexual relations with him, the abuser’s response was to “suspend the delivery of food that corresponded to him by assignment from the Food Bank.”
The Supreme Court has just confirmed the sentences imposed first by the Court of Almería and then by the Superior Court of Andalusia: eight and a half years in prison for a crime of abuse and another 300 euros fine for another minor fraud.
The judges take into account several arguments to firmly endorse the victim’s version: she was in a situation of “extreme need and consequently also of intense vulnerability”, the accused had a “highly limiting freedom” projection of the woman and , therefore, that makes the consent you gave invalid. Finally, the Supreme Court understands that there was “a plan” by the abuser.