'Spanish Me Too' surges after gang acquitted of rape charge


Mass protests about a contentious sexual assault ruling in Spain stretched over three days, with more than 35,000 people demonstrating in Pamplona, the northern Spanish city at the heart of the verdict (The New York Times). Protesters also took to the streets in Madrid, Barcelona, and other cities.

The court had found José Ángel Prenda, Ángel Boza, Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo, Jesús Escudero and Antonio Manuel Guerrero (El País) guilty of sexually abusing C., the 20-year-old female victim, in 2016, but not of raping her. The assault happened during the 2016 festivities of San Fermín, the controversial bull races in Pamplona held every July. Critics say the ruling was too lenient and the men should have been charged with rape.

Protesters gather outside the High Court of Navarra behind a banner reading "No is No! Justice!" While awaiting a verdict on five men accused of the multiple rape of a woman during Pamplona's San Fermin festival in 2016, in Pamplona, Spain, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent West
Protesters gather outside the High Court of Navarra behind a banner reading “No is No! Justice!” while awaiting a verdict on five men accused of the multiple rape of a woman during Pamplona’s San Fermin festival in 2016, in Pamplona, Spain, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent West

Under Spanish law an assault is only considered “rape” if there is clear evidence of considerable violence and intimidation. Sexual abuse is a lesser charge. (El País, English version)

The New York Times says the case has turned into Spain’s “Me Too” moment, with the Spanish hashtag, #Cuéntalo (Tell), going viral in recent days.

Who is who in ‘The Pack’

Catalan newspaper El Periodico has profiled the members of the gang, all sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually abusing C.

According to the newspaper, José Ángel Prenda was the one who first approached C. on the night of the assault. Born in 1989, he served two years in jail for robbery with force.

Alfonso Jesús Cabezuelo was born in 1988 and is a soldier with the Military Emergency Unit in Seville. Canezuelo has multiple tattoos including text of the group’s motto: “The power of the wolf resides in The Pack,” according to the newspaper.

The youngest of the group, Ángel Boza, was born in 1991 and has a history of robbery and drink driving. El Periodico says he was not involved in a previous incident with the others. A trial for that incident, in Pozoblanco, Córdoba, is pending.

Another of the alleged attackers, Jesús Escudero, is 27 and worked as a hairdresser. He also has a wolf tattoo that helped the victim identify him, El Periodico reports.

Escudero’s cousin, Antonio Manuel Guerrero, graduated as a Guardia Civil policeman in 2015. Most of the videos of the attack that were used as evidence were found on his mobile phone.

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