Wednesday, August 10

The Supreme Court annuls the acquittal of an alleged rapist because the gender perspective was not considered in the trial

Chamber II of the Supreme Court has annulled the judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla y León that acquitted a man from León of the crime of sexual assault, considering that the basic requirements of effective judicial protection were not met by not analyzing the testimony of the victim “with a gender perspective”. The events would have occurred in the city of León in February 2017 and the trial, which will now have to be repeated with different magistrates, in September 2019.

The Supreme Court delves into the gender perspective with two sentences that expand the concept of sexual assault

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The High Court declares the judgment null and void, upholding the appeal of the Prosecutor’s Office and the private prosecution, considering that the acquittal was “lacking in reasons.” For the Supreme Court, the case has violated the fundamental right to effective judicial protection due to the absence of this analysis of the victim’s testimony from a gender perspective, or because the testimonies of the victim’s friends have not been examined “in detail” , who picked her up from the scene and accompanied her to file a complaint.

In addition, according to the High Court, “in an illogical way”, the report of the psychologist of the Office of Assistance to Victims of the Courts of León was rejected and, instead, the psychological report and of a social worker, on the alleged contradictions of the victim, “without giving reasons why it is valid, despite the arguments of the Provincial Court in this regard, and without highlighting any contradiction directly appreciated by the Court.”

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Castilla y León of September 10, 2019, upheld the appeal of the accused against the sentence of first instance of the Provincial Court of León, which had sentenced him to 6 years in prison for a crime of sexual assault . The Superior of Justice of Castilla y León understood that the right to the presumption of innocence of the accused had been violated because the testimony of the victim “had not exceeded the necessary parameter of credibility”, a conclusion that the Supreme Court revokes.

Among other arguments, the High Court emphasizes that “an alleged conscientious estimation of the review of the evidentiary assessment carried out by the court of appeal, understood as equivalent to a personal or intimate criterion of the Chamber, is not enough, since this must be the consequence of a logical appreciation of the test, not exempt from guidelines or guidelines of an objective range, and above all, motivated and without irrationality in the arguments or conclusions reached “. Now, the Supreme Court of Castilla y León will have to repeat the appeal trial and issue a new sentence “by different magistrates.”