He Supreme Court has agreed to reduce the prison sentence of a man who robbed, threatened, hit and raped a prostitute in Madrid in September 2008 from 12 to 7 years. The magistrates have insisted that it was the legislator who decided “very noticeably reduce the penological arc associated with this type of behavior.” Thus, they have stressed that if the legislator himself – in the “free exercise of his powers” – resolved this, the reduction should be applied to the convicted person.
The accused went in his car to the Marconi Polygon from Madrid and hired the services of a woman who worked as a prostitute. She got into her vehicle and he took advantage of her to grab her “strongly” by the neck and lower her head, “forcing her to remain motionless.” There, she took from her “a large knife that he placed on her neck and tied her hands behind her back with a cord.”
According to the ruling, of which the judge was the rapporteur Leopoldo Puente, the man also “covered her head with a cloth cover.” Once he immobilized her, he started the car and drove to the outskirts of a dead end alley in the area. “To increase the serious fear the woman already felt, he told her that she had a gun.” It was then that she demanded that he hand over the bag she was carrying in which she had her cell phone, makeup and about 230 euros in cash.
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After robbing him, he warned him: “You’re not going to leave, I’m going to rape you.” And so she did it. The Provincial Court of Madrid sentenced him to 12 years and 1 day in prison for the crime of sexual assault. He was also sentenced to 3 years in prison for the crime of robbery. Dissatisfied with the resolution, the man took his case to the Supreme Court to review it as a result of the reform of the Penal Code after the entry into force of the Organic Law of Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom – known as the law of ‘only yes means yes’-.
The magistrates have limited themselves to reviewing the sentence imposed for the crime of sexual assault and have not ruled on the crime of robbery. According to the ruling, the Prosecutor’s Office opposed reducing the prison sentence, considering that 12 years was not a “disproportionate” figure given the “seriousness” of the case.
The court, however, has explained that this sentence was applied to the man because it was the minimum that was then included in the Penal Code range for crimes of sexual assault. And it has concluded that now the minimum sentence should also be applied, which after the penal reform has remained at 7 years.
The Supreme Court has partially upheld the appeal because, although it has agreed to reduce the prison sentence, it has decided to maintain the disqualification sentence at the 12 years that was set in the lower court. And, on the sidelines, he imposes a measure of supervised release for 5 years after his release from prison.
It is worth remembering that, according to the latest data published by the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), sentence reductions account for 31.4% of the cases reviewed. As of September 1, there were 1,205 sentence reductions and 121 releases in application of the law of ‘only yes means yes’.
(Information prepared by Europa Press)