Man who raped gipsy girl, 12, acquitted because relationship ‘common’

Opinion: This is crossing the line of having a civil society. Letting in a Cup;ture that has barbaric practices such as child marriage to let this POS rape a child and destroy a family and the community.

Barcelona, Spain - Circa 2015 : Abstract shot police car lights with Police written in Spanish - Ricky Deacon/iStock Editorial

Marriages between very young people frequent in Roma culture, Spanish court rules

A man who raped a 12-year-old girl was acquitted by a court that deemed their relations formed “part of the cultural reality of the gipsy community”.

Under Spanish law, minors under the age of 16 cannot consent to sex. But the court ruled that the man, who was 20 years old at the time, should benefit from a legal exception.

The ruling in Ciudad Real in central Spain, holds that the relationship was “always consensual within the framework of a romantic relationship”, adding that the two were “close in age and maturity”.

The acquittal is the latest in a series of rulings in which judges have taken into account customs followed by some of Spain’s Roma population when dealing with cases of sexual assault concerning minors.

Leaders of civil society and government officials have expressed outrage that the ethnicity of the alleged victim and abuser in cases of underage sex should have any bearing on the legal rights.

The girl was found to be pregnant by a doctor who activated protocols for the protection of minors, leading to the man’s arrest.

Went to doctor about pregnancy

According to the ruling, the defendant said he did not know the exact age of the minor and discovered that she was 12 only when they went to the doctor about her pregnancy.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 11 years for a crime of repeated rape against a minor.

However, the court ruled to acquit, describing it as “an undisputed fact [that] the relationship took place in the cultural and social context of the gipsy community, where marriages between very young people are frequent”.

The ruling in Ciudad Real comes just two days after another verdict was made public in which another man saw his sentence reduced considerably for the statutory rape of a minor.

The man, who has not been named, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after a sexual relationship with a Roma girl saw her become pregnant three times between the ages of 12 and 15.

The court in León was told by the victim that in her culture it was normal for a 12-year-old girl to have sexual relations with an adult. Prosecutors, who had initially pursued a 37-year sentence on three counts of rape, eventually agreed on a plea bargain deal with the reduced sentence, with the conviction ruling stating that “couples start at very early ages in gipsy culture”.

Ruling an ‘absolute disgrace’

Beatriz Carrillo, director general of non-discrimination and anti-racism within Spain’s Equalities Ministry, described the ruling in León as an “absolute disgrace”.

“The penal code does not exclude Roma minors from protection. If it did so, we would be saying that abusing, attacking or raping gipsy girls has few legal consequences.”

There are around 750,000 Roma living in Spain, according to an estimate by the Gypsy Secretariat Foundation (FSG).

Sara Giménez, FSG director general, said: “Spain’s legal framework says under-16s cannot give consent and this law should be applied for the protection of women, including gipsy women.

“Gipsy culture does not include abuse or the violation of rights. There may be exceptional cases of relationships between minors but these rulings foment negative stereotypes that are really damaging.”

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Written by Colin

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