Courts in Malaga
Prison sentence for man who slapped a teenage girl’s bottom in Vélez-Málaga

Prison sentence for man who slapped a teenage girl’s bottom in Vélez-Málaga


The teenager was reaching inside her mother’s car to get her backpack at the time of the abuse

Juan Cano


Thursday, 16 March 2023, 07:58


A man has been sentenced to one year in prison for slapping the bottom of a teenage girl has she was taking her backpack out from her mother's car. The Andalusian's top court (TSJA), which confirmed the sentence given by Malaga’s provincial court in 2022, considered that the incident constitutes a crime of sexual abuse.

At around 6.25pm on 18 July 2019 the 34-year-old male defendant - a "slapped the buttocks" of a 14-year-old girl "with the intention of satisfying his sexual desires" according to the judge.

The judge went on to describe how the teenager had the upper part of her body inside her mother's car, which was parked in a street in Vélez-Málaga, to get her backpack. At that moment, the man, who was passing by, approached her and slapped her buttocks, causing the victim to have an anxiety attack.

Restraining order

The case went to Malaga’s provincial court in 2022 when the accused was sentenced to one year in prison, in addition to a 500-metre restraining order from the victim for a period of two years.

The defence appealed the ruling, arguing, firstly, that the defendant did not commit the offence. He claimed that he had not been personally identified and that the teenager and her mother had been given "impartiality and credibility,” but that there were “contradictions" in their story.

The defence also argued that incident did not constitute abuse because, in their opinion, a slap on the buttocks "is not an action that necessarily has a sexual content", and even less in a case like this, which was a "fleeting, minor act", which reduces "criminal relevance".

The court ruling stated that, although the teenager could not see the aggressor's face because her back was turned, she did observe a man who was three or four metres away and who was running away from the scene. She could also see that there was no one else around, so she deduced that he was the one who slapped her buttocks.

The minor told her mother, who pursued the man in her car and to ask him to explain his actions. The man did not reply and left the scene. The mother then located some on-duty police officers to whom she reported the incident and pointed in the direction in which the man had fled. The officers tracked him down and took him back to the mother, who recognised him as the man she had been chasing minutes earlier.

'Only yes is yes' law

Now, the TSJA agrees with the provincial court ruling that the defendant took advantage of the minor's situation and the fact that she could not see him. "In the case in question, there is no doubt that, from an objective point of view, touching a woman's buttocks, even in a slight and fleeting manner, and over her clothes, is an act with sexual significance as it is carried out in an erogenous zone of the human body," the TSJA ruling states.

The court indicated that, after the reform of the law 10/2022 of integral guarantee of freedom - the 'only yes is yes' law- the conduct of the accused would fit, with the new terminology, as sexual assault for which the sentence is one year in prison.

The TSJA judges rejected the defence's appeal and confirmed the sentence imposed by the Malaga Court of Appeal. However, the sentence is not yet final and could still be appealed before the Supreme Court.

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