Six-year sentence for raping a British tourist in a Costa nightclub toilet

Police headquarters in Malaga. File photograph.
Police headquarters in Malaga. File photograph. / SUR
  • The 37-year-old man was found guilty of sexual assaulting the 19-year-old girl who was on holiday with friends

A Malaga court has ordered a six-year prison sentence for a 37-year-old man for raping a 19-year-old British tourist in a nightclub toilet in the city.

The court heard that the attack took place on 11 July, 2017, when the victim met the man at the club and, despite language difficulties, they struck up a conversation. According to court documents the pair began to dance and kiss on the disco floor.

At about four in the morning, the girl asked the defendant where the women's toilets were and he offered to accompany her. Once there, when the young woman entered one of the toilets, he followed behind her and closed the door. The man then grabbed her tightly, lifted her dress and raped her.

The court papers say the man carried out the sexual assault while she "insistently" pleaded for him to stop, while crying inconsolably.

After that, the man quickly left the toilet and the girl told a friend, who alerted the doorman of the nightclub. He asked her if her attacker was still inside and if she could identify him, to which she responded ‘yes’. They both returned inside so that she could discreetly point out the man. After several unsuccessful attempts to find him, the doorman notified the police.

Malaga Local Police, after an initial interview with the girl, activated the protocol for suspected cases of sexual assault and handed over the investigations to the National Police.

Officers took a statement from the girl, interviewed witnesses and reviewed footage from all the security cameras on the premises.

When police traced the man they found contradictions in his account. He acknowledged the sexual encounter, but maintained that it was consensual at all times and that she even pulled his arm for him to enter the toilet and asked him to have sex, denying that she said "stop".

The victim, who suffered eight finger-shaped bruises on the inner side of her left thigh, immediately returned to Britain after the attack, as she was on holiday in Malaga with a group of friends.

The girl maintained her version of events at the trial, in which she testified by videoconference due to the health crisis. The girl stated that, when he entered the bathroom, she thought they would continue kissing or even that he would touch her body, which she said, she would not have opposed, since he seemed like a "good person". But she said that at no time did she agree to continue, and vehemently opposed and "physically" resisted the rape, which according to her she could not prevent due to the small size of the cubicle.

The man was found guilty of the sexual assault and sentenced to six years in prison, an order banning him to communicate by any means with the victim for another 11 years and, finally, compensation of 15,000 euros for the injuries and emotional trauma suffered.