The Court of Barcelona has communicated this Monday one of the first sentences issued in the Catalan capital based on the law of ‘only yes is yes’. It was a man accused of raping a minor. The penal result has been the same as the one that would have occurred with the previous Penal Code: sentence of seven and a half years in prison.
First downward sentence for a rapist in Catalonia tried after the ‘only yes is yes’ law
In their sentence, the magistrates of the 6th section of the Barcelona Court specify that the new law, which has caused sentence reductions in reviews of cases already tried and in appeals before the Supreme Court, does not benefit the defendant of the rape in El Prat de Llobregat since it has been considered proven that there was violence and intimidation.
“The penalty would be the same –says magistrate José Manuel del Amo, rapporteur for the resolution–, although now the fork in the basic rate has been lowered. The use of violence or intimidation is the most relevant objective element”.
According to the magistrates, the repealed legislation and the current one “give rise to the application of the same penalty as long as they remain in tune with the theses of the prosecution, that it mediated violence”, although the robes do make it ugly that the new law counts with a wording “not entirely accurate”.
“To the extent that we have given reliability to the minor’s version regarding the attack on sexual freedom, we have to conclude that the use of typical violence mediated the minor in that act,” they add.
Another thing is the criteria that the magistrates can decide this Thursday, when they will meet to unify criteria for the application of the law. It is especially about the revisions of sentences already judged. The criterion of the majority of the Spanish Provincial Courts has been to continue applying the most favorable penal norm to the convicted, against which they defended applying the transitory provisions of the Penal Code that prevent lowering a sentence retroactively if it is also possible to impose it with the new laws .
In its first sentence after the entry into force of the new rule that unifies the types of sexual abuse and assault, the Supreme Court concluded that the “only yes is yes” law was more beneficial for the defendants in the “Arandina case” than the Code Previous penalty. As a result, they were sentenced to nine years in jail as opposed to the old standard of ten.
The Girona Court ruled in the same vein in the first case tried in Catalonia based on the yes is yes law: the judges sentenced a man to two and a half years in prison for the new crime of rape and for another minor one of injuries by concluding that the current legislation was “clearly more beneficial” to it by lowering the minimum sentence for the crime of sexual assault. The sentence criticized the unification of the crimes of abuse and aggression that the Congress of Deputies validated without having offered the judges some “rules” on their application.
Rape in El Prat
The events tried in Barcelona date back to August 4, 2020, when the victim was with a friend on Calle Major de Gavà, and Miguel OG, with a record for other types of crimes, approached them and started talking to her. . According to the sentence, the young woman left with the accused and they went to the Renfe de Gavà station to take a train to Barcelona. They got off at El Prat station and arrived at an address.
There, the defendant told the minor that she should behave as if she were his wife and forced her to perform various sexual practices without her consent. The ruling does not consider it proven that the man threatened the girl with a knife so that she would go with him to the train, nor that he drugged her or locked her in the room under the watchful eye of a dog, as the victim and the accusations said. For this reason, the magistrates have acquitted him of the crime of illegal detention.
In addition, the sentence establishes a restraining order and prohibition of communication with the victim, as well as the measure of probation for another seven and a half years after the sentence has been completed. It also sets compensation of more than 10,500 euros for the numerous and serious psychological consequences that the minor still suffers.