Saturday, September 25

Two years in prison for extorting a young man by revealing his sexual orientation to the point of committing suicide

“Before dead than dominated by whoever.” They were the last words that Adrián – fictitious name – left written in a note before taking his own life by throwing himself out of the window of his house in A Coruña in October 2019. He was being the victim of extortion by a man who threatened to reveal his homosexuality to his family and friends if he did not pay him money that he did not have. Now his extortionist has just been sentenced to two and a half years in prison, and is waiting to find out if he has to serve a sentence behind bars.

The facts have been declared proven by the Galician Justice in a sentence of last June to which he has had access The condemned man met the victim in early October 2019 through the application ‘Bender’, a platform for contacts between homosexuals, and began to demand money in exchange for not revealing his sexual orientation to his family. The threats he sent by WhatsApp were clear: “Do you want me to forget about you and not tell anyone that you are gay? … No one hesitates. Well, now we’ll see. I’m going to tell all of Coruña” , he came to tell her.

The young man made a first payment of 100 euros but ran out of money to continue facing extortion and clearly told him that he was considering taking his own life. “If I don’t talk to you anymore, I’ll kill myself. I can’t take it anymore,” he even said to the condemned man, who responded by despising his suicidal intentions. “Look, not emotional blackmail. With me that doesn’t work,” he told her. The victim asked him to wait a few weeks until he received his salary for that month to make a second payment, but the defendant did not give him more time: “I will not wait.”

Adrián took his life on October 8, 2019, a few days after the extortion began, throwing himself out of the window of his house at dawn. He did so, according to the sentence, “prey to the despair and anguish in which he was plunged.” Before falling into the void, he left a note: he explained that this was “what filled” his patience and added “before dead than dominated by anyone.” His stalker, who was slow to know that his victim had committed suicide, continued to send him messages once he died so that he would pay him more money: “Look kid, I’m going to take care of making your life bitter,” he told him in the last WhatsApp message that they collect the judges.

An extortion that has just resulted in a firm sentence of two and a half years in prison for a crime of conditional threats to the extortionist, in addition to the obligation to pay 9,000 euros to the victim’s uncle. The Provincial Court of A Coruña confirmed last June the sentence imposed in the first instance by a criminal court of the city and sources in the case confirm to this newspaper that it has already been declared final as no appeal has been filed with the Supreme court.

“Disturbance and anguish”

The judges rejected the convicted man’s appeal, who among other things alleged that the victim had already carried out previous suicide attempts and highlighted the influence that the young man’s death had on the investigation of the case. An argument that the Justice rejects outright: “This dramatic ending, despite being alien to the agent’s will and not being the subject of a trial, is the best reflection of the disturbance and anguish created in the victim by the pressure to which he submitted, “says the sentence.

The magistrates have no doubt that the threats of the condemned were the ones that led the victim to suicide. “The continuous pressure, the reiteration of the request for money after having received the first payment, were enough to lead the victim to adopt an irreversible and very serious decision,” they say, relying for example on how the young man wrote in his note of suicide that this had been “what burned” his patience.

The judges acknowledge that, after examining the note he wrote, the existence of previous attempts at self-harm can be deduced, but the statements that accompanied his dismissal, says the sentence, “refute this defense argument and close any possible debate on the connection between the action of the accused and the affectation of the victim “. Sources in the case explain to this newspaper that the victim’s relatives had to take care of the repairs to the car on which the young man fell after rushing out the window.

The judges explain that the sexual identity of a person is part of “their basic core of intimacy, over which they have the right to maintain full control and enjoy full decision-making power over the form, the people and the means of making them known. , if this were his wish. ” In this case, they reason, “it is evident that the victim did not want that knowledge to be public, and even kept it hidden from his closest family circle.”

Firm judgment

Sources of the defense of the condemned explain to that they have decided not to appeal the judgment of the Provincial Court and that, therefore, it has been declared final. The case has not yet entered the execution phase, so now the Justice will have to decide whether the convicted person will finally have to serve a sentence behind bars. The sentence could have been appealed in cassation before the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court.

The circumstances of the case leave the door open for his entry into prison to end up happening: he has no criminal record but the sentence is more than two years in prison and, according to sources in the case, at least today he does not have money to to be able to face the compensation of 9,000 euros that must be paid to the victim’s uncle. The defendant spent eight months in provisional prison, from February 2020 until the trial was held in October last year.

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