Spain's Supreme Court convicts the 5 men in 'La Manada', or 'Wolf Pack', case of gang rape, overturning a lesser court's 2018 ruling of 'sexual abuse.'
After being provisionally released a year ago by a lower court, Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled that the five men involved in La Manada, or 'Wolf Pack' case, have each been convicted of gang raping an 18-year-old woman from Madrid during the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona in 2016.
The men are each sentenced to at least 15 years in prison and the victim will receive 100,000 euros, approximately US$113,115.00, ruled Spain’s highest court.
In their decision, the judges ruled that the woman in the case was a victim "of intimidation (and) never consents to the sexual acts carried out by the accused."
They concluded she was “forced to a adopt an attitude of submission, doing what the authors of the crime told her to do in the face of anguish and intense stress that the situation caused her in the remote, narrow place that had no exit where she had been forced into" by the perpetrators.
The high court judges say the five ‘Wolf Pack’ members, Jose Angel, Angel Boza, Antonio Guerrero and Alfonso Cabezuelo "took advantage" of the festival circumstances to attack the young woman who suffered “at least ten sexual assaults from oral, vaginal and anal penetrations."
The court’s ruling overturns a 2018 ruling by the regional Superior Court of Justice of Navarra (TSJN) that sentenced the criminals to only nine years in prison on a lesser charge of sexual abuse.
The Navarra judges said the five men were guilty of “sexual abuse,” saying the woman didn't fight back or seem “intimidated,” by her rapists. The lower court said last year the men could not be convicted of rape without proof they had used physical violence. This ruling set off massive protests across Spain.
Last December, the lower court also acquitted the perpetrators for crimes against privacy after they recorded the continual rapes and made them available over social media where they bragged about the events.
On Friday, Spain's Supreme Court sentenced one of the men to an additional two years in jail for stealing the victim's phone.
El Pais from Spain reports that the court’s complete ruling will be made available in a few weeks.
All five of the convicted rapists were arrested and taken to jail to begin their sentence Friday.