Spain has been engulfed in a huge rape case that is mobilizing huge support for the victim while seeming judicial bias towards the five accused men.
The trial of La Manada has already begun, and it paints badly
The judge has dismissed the WhatsApp chat evidence in which the accused spoke of violations but has admitted use of a report that spied on the victim.
The accused from Seville, including a member of the Civil Guard (Spanish Police) and another of the Spanish Army.
And a trial has begun against the five defendants for the alleged rape during a local festival last year. Monday began the first day, at the Palace of Justice in Pamplona, which plans to extend the case until next November 24 with a series of oral hearings.
Opening court proceedings the young woman, victim of the group rape, spoke to the court giving a 3 hour testimony. The young woman, who at the time of the rape was 18 years old, had to travel to Pamplona because the judge refused to allow use of video conference. Although at no time did the victim and the five accused have to face each other.
Important Points Of The Case
The judge does not support the WhatsApp evidence of ‘La Manada’
Evidence collected from the accused WhatsApp account called La Manada (WolfPack) has been dismissed by the judge. Highly worrying to women’s rights campaigners this shows clear bias towards the accused 5 men.
Promoting A Culture Of Rape
The Pack, as they called themselves in this WhatsApp group, included the defendants themselves, as well as other friends of the group who did not participate in the sex attack.
In this same group the men talked openly about some of their aggressive sex practices that seemed to be habitual in “La Manada”. Some of them even expressed the desire or desire to commit sexual abuse that summer.
These messages, which promote the “culture of rape” show a pattern of behavior in the group BUT will now be ignored by the judge who has decided not to take them into account. In a clear sign of bias.
Video Connected To Other Sex Abuse Episode
The court, in addition, has erased from the case records other videos posted in the group previous to those that occurred on the night of July 6 to 7, 2016, which clearly refer to another alleged episode of sexual abuse of a girl in Pozoblanco.
96 seconds of video: the key to the trial
According to the judge, the trial will revolve around the interpretation of the video recorded during the attack. The video is a 96-second file of the 14 minutes sex attack.
The five defendants have declared themselves “innocent” and are trying to dismantle the story of the girl. The proceedings state that the victim contradicted herself between the first statements to the police and the subsequent ones, something that is common in the first hours of having suffered an serious sex assault.
One of those contradictions is that the girl alleged, at first, that she had seen four assailants and later admitted that there were five.
For their part, the defendants maintain that they had consensual sex at all times. The defendants have come to affirm that the young woman used her “innocence” and her “inexperience” to coax the accused 5 men.
They say that she participated actively, and that she even took the initiative. Something that she denies and has always denied.
They have also provided as evidence recorded sound of the victim recorded in which it seems to hear the moan of a woman.
The defendants accuse the woman of inventing the rape because, they say, she felt “rejected by how they left her alone, without saying goodbye.”
The victim denies everything. According to her version, there was a consensual kiss with one of the defendants, but nothing more.
At the moment when she announced that she was leaving, they insistently offered to accompany her. On the way to the car, the woman says they looked for a place to attack her.
First, in the passage to a bathroom and then in a hotel where they asked for a room “to fuck”. Finally, the aggression took place in a doorway. The victim has stated at all times that there was no consent.
What People Are Saying Online
No me extraña que en España las mujeres no denuncien la violencia sexual.
El juez te llama a declarar al mismo sitio donde te violaron 5 bestias.
El juez acepta como prueba el seguimiento a la víctima. ¿La juzga a ella?
La justicia española revictimiza.#LaManada #LaVergüenza
— Paka Díaz (@pakadiaz) November 14, 2017
Porque un juez acepta un informe de detective sobre el comportamiento “posterior” de la victima y no videos sobre el comportamiento “anterior” de los acusados? Que buscan? Denigrar la imagen de la victima? Si reia mucho es que no hubo violacion? Esta pasando en juicio a #LaManada
— Sonia Villar (@_soniavillar) November 14, 2017
A report admitting the life of the victim after the violation is admitted
The same judge who rejected the WhatsApp evidence and also deleted the criminal history of the alleged defendants from the case has considered as “relevant” a report prepared by a private law firm. The report was requested and paid for the defense of one of the accused.
That video basically spies on the victim’s day after day of events.
In addition to this report, a photo “of a festive character” that the girl shared on her social networks has also been included in the case as an exculpatory evidence.
The victim’s defense defends that the girl has “party or travel photos because she is a twenty-year-old woman who is only trying to rebuild her life”.
Victimizing The Victim
The first reactions of this judge – first, rejecting the WhatsApp of La Manada; second, accepting that spying on the girl after the rape is lawful – they are, at first, victimizing the victim doubly.
Social network groups and several feminist associations have harshly condemned the first actions of the court. A rally has also been called this Friday in front of the Ministry of Justice of Madrid.
Although we still do not know what will happen in the next few days, these first indications of the judge are not very encouraging. Violence against women manifests itself in the streets, in homes and in work and is perpetuated in the courts, in public institutions and in the administration. We are witnessing a perverse change in the story. The patriarchal justice forsakes women to continue to protect the impunity of men.
The five defendants of San Fermín have been allowed to transfer the burden of proving their guilt or innocence to the victim.
It is the victim who will now have to prove if she was a victim, or not, if she behaved well, if she reconstructed her life too soon.
If she was, in short, a good or a bad girl. This is how patriarchy wants us to paint these sex attacks. This is what makes the pain for the victim multiply.