A night out that ends with a stranger asking three men for sex. This has been the version that the accused have given for the multiple rape of a young woman in Molins de Rei (Barcelona), whom the Prosecutor’s Office asks for up to 46 years in prison. “Normal” and “good” have been the adjectives that have been used the most to explain that sexual relations were consensual. “We treat her super well,” said one of the three defendants, MM
Consent is the key in this judgment. Biological tests have confirmed the presence of semen from two of the defendants on the victim’s body, and the third on her underwear. The coroner and the doctor who visited the victim a few hours after the events, in the hospital, have confirmed that he had injuries all over his body “compatible” with a sexual assault and defensive wounds on his hands and arms.
“She was very upset, she cried a lot, she felt angry, she was devastated, she constantly needed to be shaken,” recalled the doctor. One of the defenses has asked if the injuries that the young woman presented could have been derived from the sport that she practiced, which the forensic has emphatically denied: “The injuries are compatible with the facts that she referred.”
Given their irrefutable DNA, the defendants have only been able to claim to try to be acquitted the most common defense in trials for sexual assaults, that is, that the sexual relations were consensual. Contrary to what was stated by the victim, who assured that they put her in the trunk of a car, grabbed her by the hair and insulted her repeatedly, the defendants have reported that it was the young woman who voluntarily got into her vehicle to go to have breakfast after leaving the disco.
Only the first of the accused has said that he had seen the girl at the disco. He explained that they were dancing around 1 in the morning but that they did not meet again until they left the premises. He has downloaded the initiative of sexual intercourse on the young woman and has denied that they were holding her. “We were all fine, normal, partying, the girl was calm and in good spirits, she was not drunk,” said JMV, who, like the rest of the accused, is still at large.
The three defendants did want to make it clear that the young woman, before asking them to have sex, threw gin over her breasts. JMV has provided fewer details when the victim’s lawyer, Esther Guerrero, asked her about the conversations found on her phone after the events in which her mother warned her that she could go to jail. “The thing is that these things happen, there are girls who denounce you and look for your ruin,” he said.
“When you go to a party you drink, but that girl was perfectly fine and knew what she was doing at all times,” said the third defendant, JC, the author of the victim’s photographs that the Mossos recovered. To questions from the prosecutor, JC has acknowledged that he took the photographs and two weeks later he deleted them. The reason: that I wanted to upload “other photos to Instagram”. Moreover, he has said that it was the victim who asked him to take the photographs: “She wanted to do all this and when a person wants there is nothing wrong.”
In addition to reiterating the account of consensual relationships, the second defendant MM, has provided a detail of that night that has drawn the attention of the court. He acknowledged that during the investigation phase he declared that the victim had told him that she had been abused “or raped”. “You did not wonder if it had been that night, or before,” asked the president of the court, magistrate José Antonio Rodríguez, who has received a negative response. “He did nothing,” the magistrate has confirmed, to which the defendant replied: “I thought about it when she reported me because we treated her super well that night.”
Psychological report to discredit the victim
The statement of this defendant has not been the only moment of astonishment of the court. Two psychologists proposed by the defenses have appeared as experts to discredit the victim’s account. Although they have never interviewed her, the two psychologists saw her statement during the investigation phase to carry out what they have called a “report on the characteristics of the story” of the victim.
According to the psychologists, the victim’s account “did not present sufficient criteria of truth” and was not “credible”. “There was no concreteness or internal coherence of the story, it is not limited at all,” the experts have said, ignoring the fact that the young woman declared, as is usually the case among victims of sexual crimes, that she had “flashes” about what happened.
After listening to the words of the experts, the president of the court, magistrate José Antonio Rodríguez, has declared himself “increasingly astonished” by the intervention of the psychologists, who have admitted never having interviewed the victim. The psychologists have also not been able to detail the court’s question about what the “unusual details” were in the victim’s statement that they had referred.
The Prosecutor’s Office reaffirms its request for up to 46 years in prison
In her final report, the prosecutor in the case has reaffirmed herself in demanding sentences of 43 years for two of the accused and 46 for the third (to which in addition to sexual assault she adds the crime of revealing secrets because he was allegedly the author of images and videos of the victim). The high penalties are explained because the Prosecutor’s Office applies the jurisprudence of the case of ‘the herd’ of Pamplona and attributes to each defendant the responsibility of a crime of sexual assault and places them as necessary cooperators of the other two assaults.
“It was not a consensual relationship,” the prosecutor has settled. The defenses have maintained that the victim’s statement is not credible due to the “flashes” that he said he had of what happened, something that the prosecutor has fought. “The gaps that the victim has should not lead us to question his credibility, because his story can be corroborated with other evidence,” he pointed out in reference to the emergency reports that indicate that he had defensive wounds in various parts of the body and in the head.
The victim’s lawyer has stressed that the medical reports and the injuries presented by the young woman confirm that she was raped in shifts while the other defendants held her. “His statement conforms to the credibility parameters that are required,” Guerrero explained.
On the other hand, the defenses have maintained that they were consensual sexual relations. “All the acts that took place in the field were voluntary,” stressed one of the defenses. Beyond claiming the presumption of innocence of his clients, one of the lawyers has charged directly against the victim’s account. “When he fell into ambiguities and contradictions he used a very nice word, he said he had ‘flashes'”, has disfigured one of the defenses, who has told the court that the three defendants are “three losers.” The trial has been seen for sentence this Monday.