Ángel Boza. SUR
Jail term lowered in Spain's high-profile gang abuse case

Jail term lowered in Spain's high-profile gang abuse case

Problems continue for ministers' 'only yes is yes' sexual aggression law as one of 'The Pack', whose trial inspired the tougher stance, ends up benefiting



Friday, 15 September 2023, 14:51


The Spanish government's controversial 'only yes is yes' law to toughen up on sexual aggression has been back in the spotlight this week. So far, the small print of the law has seen over 1,000 sexual offenders' sentences unexpectedly reduced, to the embarrassment of ministers.

Now a prison sentence in the high-profile case that inspired the law change in the first place has been lowered as well by a court of appeal.

The 2022 law came about after the group abuse of a young woman at Pamplona's San Fermín festivities in 2016 and the subsequent trial.

The blurred boundary between the definition of 'abuse' and 'aggression' in that case was the inspiration for the law change. But the beefed up law merging the definition of 'abuse' and 'aggression' has been criticised for having the opposite effect and reducing the sentences of many instead.

The embarrassment for the government was complete this week when the sentence of José Ángel Boza, one of the group who called themselves 'La Manada' (The Pack) in the 2016 incident, was lowered from 15 to 14 years. The other four of the group could now see their sentences lowered too.

One of the ministers behind the law who has continued to defend it reacted. "Our country has changed thanks to the feminist movement and the women who fight, but 'machismo' operates in many places. This judicial decision is incomprehensible," Ione Belarra of Podemos and acting minister for Social Rights said.

But the acting opposition leader, Alberto Feijóo of the PP, slammed ministers, saying the law was now working in favour of The Pack, describing it as a "legal cock-up".

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