surinenglish

A serial rapist from Malaga could soon be out of jail against the parole board's wishes

Juan Carlos G. R., being taken to court after his arrest.
Juan Carlos G. R., being taken to court after his arrest. / FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ
  • The former PE teacher has been granted third-grade imprisonment after serving 17 years of his sentence for 24 sexual assaults in Malaga

He was born in Malaga, to a poor family, studied Physical Education and married his childhood sweetheart. In the mornings he taught PE in a school, and in the afternoons he worked in administration at Malaga Football Club. Juan Carlos G.R. appeared to be the perfect son-in-law, until the police caught up with him.

Juan Carlos, who was 28 at the time, became known in Malaga as the 'multiple rapist'. The case caused great alarm in the city and especially at the Rosario Moreno school in La Paz district, where he began teaching in 1998. Apparently gentle and kind, he was arrested in February 2002 for 24 sexual assaults. He has been in prison ever since, but could be free very soon. A judge has just granted him third degree imprisonment, better known as semi-freedom, even though the parole board at Albolote prison in Granada is against it.

Let's go back to the beginning, to April 1997, when the first woman told the police she had been assaulted. At the time, nobody suspected Juan Carlos was leading a double life, neither his friends and family nor his colleagues at school or the football club, who considered him a nice person and a hard worker.

Profile of the victims

Although the profile of the victims was similar (young blonde women aged between 18 and 23, apart from one under-age girl), the investigators did spot an evolution in his methods. At first, he targeted mothers of children who lived in the district and watched their movements. Then, hooded, he would go to their homes in the Carretera de Cadiz area and sexually assault them, threatening them and sometimes carrying a weapon to intimidate them.

He later changed his modus operandi and the profile of his victims, choosing young foreign girls who were generally studying at the university on the Erasmus scheme. They all looked Scandinavian, although many of them weren't. He would ring their doorbell, pretending to be a plumber or to work for the gas company and saying the community of owners had asked him to call. He would then study their movements for a while and, later, carry out the attacks.

Juan Carlos was remanded in custody from his arrest in 2002 until being sentenced in 2005. He was sentenced to 271 years in prison for 13 sexual assaults and another 11 attempted assaults (the victims were able to fight him off and escape), although he only had to serve 20 because at the time that was the maximum term possible. That was the longest jail sentence ever given to a single person by the Provincial Court in Malaga.

He was also ordered to keep at least 2km away from all his victims for a further 15 years after being released. However, no order was made for him to be monitored once he was free.

He has spent his time in different jails, including Alhaurín de la Torre and Cordoba, and most recently Albolote. He has been doing paid work inside and is said to have behaved well. He also attended a therapy course for sexual offenders.

Now, however, there is concern about his imminent release. He will be assigned to a Social Insertion Centre, where he will stay at night, but will be able to leave during daytime. However, because no monitoring order was laid down as part of his sentence, he will immediately be able to apply for conditional freedom, which means he would not have to stay at the Centre and would only be bound to keep the required distance away from his victims.

If he failed to do this, the court could overturn the conditional freedom and he would have to return to prison to serve the rest of his sentence, without the time on release being taken into account. After the years of fear and the number of attacks, many people in Malaga are opposed to the move.