Responding to news that five men known as the “Wolf Pack” have been sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape by Spain’s Supreme Court, Massimo Moratti, Deputy Director of the European Regional Office said:
This case shows exactly why it’s so crucial for Spain’s Penal Code to be amended. Sex without consent is rape; it’s that simple.Massimo Moratti
“We are delighted that justice has finally prevailed in this horrific case and that the rights of the survivor have been upheld. But the journey to get here has been long, and caused the woman involved further unnecessary and avoidable suffering.
“This case shows exactly why it’s so crucial for Spain’s Penal Code to be amended. Sex without consent is rape; it’s that simple. The assumption in law that a victim gives their consent because they have not resisted is deeply problematic and undermines access to justice, especially since “involuntary paralysis” or “freezing” has been recognized by experts as a common response to sexual assault.
“While changing laws won’t eradicate rape, what is written in the law plays a major role in defining attitudes as to what rape is.”
Spain’s Supreme Court today convicted the 5 men of rape based on the existence of intimidation and lack of consent. Two previous sentences passed by the lower and superior courts in Navarra established that the woman didn’t consent to the sexual act but sentenced the men to the lesser offence of sexual abuse as they didn’t find enough violence or intimidation for the crime to be considered rape. The full ruling will be available in the forthcoming weeks.