In Spain, people are protesting after a Pamplona court judge acquitted a man for sexually abusing his fourteen-year-old stepdaughter even though she gave birth to his baby. Now, people are taking to the streets to shout their outrage at the judge’s decision to support the child rapist even though irrefutable biological evidence exists that he did sexually assault his young stepdaughter by getting her pregnant with his spawn.
However, the defendant claimed that the fourteen-year-old girl raped the man. The judge decided to accept this story. The defendant claimed that the child sat aside the man’s erect penis while he was asleep and engaged in unwanted penetrative sex. The man claims to have no memory of sexually abusing the child because he had been very drunk on the night of the rape.
About nine months later, the man’s stepdaughter was admitted to a hospital to give birth to a baby. It was December 2018 when that happened. The stepfather claimed that his stepdaughter’s pregnancy took him by complete surprise as well as to his wife – the girl’s mother.
Social services demanded that the man take a paternity test to see whether or not he was responsible for the child of his stepdaughter. The paternity test confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that the baby was the stepfather’s and that he had engaged in vaginal sex with the underage girl at least one time because it resulted in her pregnancy.
The girl’s mother defended her daughter by reporting the father for sexual abuse. The girl was trying to defend her stepfather by first claiming that a strange man raped her in the street. Then she changed the story to claim that she had sex with her stepfather while he was unconscious.
However, the girl “kept her head and eyes facing down” during the trial, “answering questions very briefly in a barely audible voice,” the judge reported in the sentencing.
Altamira Gonzalo, vice-president of the Themis women jurists’ association, fears that this man’s acquittal will roll back progressive changes across Spain when it comes to women’s rights. She said this “takes us back to the kind of sentences we used to see in Spain in the 1950s or 60s when there was complete impunity for men in the family environment”.
Gonzalo told The Telegraph, “The sentence beggars belief. The only thing the court valued is the accused’s right to the presumption of innocence. It has ignored its duty to protect a minor and the fact that the age of consent in Spain is sixteen.”
Although this stepfather was able to get out of trouble, Spain is looking to change laws to catch more child predators and punish them. The country’s parliament passed a new child protection law this week to help keep more children safe in the European country.
Cira García, a judge from one of Spain’s gender violence courts, fears that the decision forgot to consider that the girl might have changed her story and lied to protect her stepfather from punishment.
“We are sick of criticizing that children’s testimony is often not given credibility and they are accused of lying in court, but here the girl’s word is accepted without question to absolve the accused, even though her account of events is absolutely implausible,” García told the online newspaper Público.
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